The Financial Times (FT) wrote that the European Union intends to use the “emergency brake” in its Autonomous Trade Measures with Ukraine, a policy that suspends import duties and quotas on Ukrainian and Moldovan exports to the EU for one year.

Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, denied FT’s reports about triggering safeguard mechanisms and reimposing tariffs on Ukrainian sugar and egg imports to the EU from June 6, 2024 until 5 June 5, 2025, she told Ukrainian media outlet European Pravda.

FT mentioned that this move was intended to cause disruption two days after the EU started accession talks with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.

However, Stefanishyna dismissed this news as untrue, she told European Pravda in Brussels. Stefanishyna is currently on a visit to several institutions throughout Europe.

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“No new decisions on the reintroduction of duties on Ukrainian goods by the EU are being planned for the time being,” she told European Pravda in Brussels.

The EU’s safeguard mechanisms in the Autonomous Trade Measures became an answer to the border crisis between Poland and Ukraine that started in November 2023.

Truckers and farmers in Poland began blocking the border, angered by what they said was Ukraine’s use of a wartime easing of border restrictions to gain market share. They were also angry at cheap Ukrainian food imports. 

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Meanwhile, Ukraine used Poland as a transit route to ports while the Black Sea was mined by Russia after its full-scale invasion in 2022. Ukraine established a safe export route for its grain and goods beginning in August 2023.

To calm down farmers, the EU has included two safeguard mechanisms in the Autonomous Trade Measures.

One is “a strengthened version of the existing safeguard mechanism” that will allow “the Commission to impose any measure provided that specific conditions are met.”

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The second safeguard mechanism will “oblige the Commission to reintroduce quotas if imports of poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, maize, groats and honey exceed the arithmetic mean of quantities imported in the second half of 2021, in 2022 and in 2023.”

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