The European Commission said on Tuesday it set restrictions until June 5 on imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed to ease the excess supply of these grains in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
The EU executive arm said that during that period, Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed can be sold to any other of country of the 27-nation bloc, except to the five countries, which had complained the cheaper Ukrainian grain was making domestic production unprofitable.
The EU had earlier liberalized all imports from Ukraine to help the country’s efforts to fend off the Russian invasion. The five countries became transit routes for Ukrainian grain that could not be exported through the country’s Black Sea ports because the war.
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“The products can continue to circulate in or transit via these five Member States by means of a common customs transit procedure or go to a country or territory outside the EU,” the Commission said.
With the Commission restrictions in place, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia agreed to lift their unilateral bans for entry of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed they had imposed earlier to protect their farmers.
The Commission’s measures also include a support package worth 100 million euros ($110.25 million) for local farmers in the most affected five EU countries.
The Commission, which is responsible for trade policy in the European Union, said it could extend the grain import restrictions beyond 5 June if exceptional conditions continue.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Sandra Maler)