EU Parliament lawmakers voted Wednesday to seek limits on duty-free imports of Ukrainian grain, which were allowed in the wake of Russia's invasion but which have drawn fierce criticism from farmers in the bloc.

The move comes as the European Commission prepares to renew from June the duty-free status for Ukrainian products, while also proposing various safeguard measures which could be triggered in the case of "extreme necessity", such as limiting poultry, egg and sugar imports to average import levels from 2022-2023.

But a majority of MEPs voted to extend the limits, referred to as an "emergency brake", to grains as well amid claims by agriculture lobbies that the imports are unfairly driving down prices in the bloc.

Poland in particular has protested the duty-free imports after several protests by angry farmers, which have also been seen in other EU countries.


The Parliament's proposed amendment must now be negotiated with EU member states.

A joint statement by six European farmers' organisations welcomed the vote, "as it addresses the wider concern of different member states that are increasingly feeling the effects of this trade liberalisation".

The farmers say Ukrainian products that once headed to Africa or the Middle East are now staying in Europe, undercutting local producers.

They also say Ukrainian producers are not subject to the EU's higher environmental and social standards. 

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Comments ( 1)
Jack Griffin
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Whatever they do will be a clusterfuck. But Troll John from Canada will give us his moronic take. With Wikipedia links included.