Plans to prolong a largely duty-free access to the EU market for Ukraine’s exports until the end of 2015 were backed by the European Parliament on Thursday.
MEPs voted by 497 votes to 78, with 56 abstentions, to take over the original Commission proposal and prolong the measure without amending it.
Content and impact of the measure
The unilateral trade preferences remove 94.7% of EU tariffs charged on industrial goods imports from Ukraine. They also remove EU tariffs on over 80% of Ukraine’s farm produce exports. However the EU restricts duty-free amounts of “sensitive” products, such as cereals, pork, beef, poultry, and processed food so as not to harm the interests of EU producers. Ukraine is also bound to comply with the EU health standards, and respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and rule of law.
Statistics provided by Ukraine show that the exports from Ukraine to the EU in the first half of 2014 have increased by 25% (worth US$ 587 million), thereby offsetting the reduction in Ukraine's exports to Russia (-24.5%).
Thursday October 23, 2014/ EP/ European Union.