Bulgaria to lift ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports

Bulgaria to lift ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports
# 04 May 2023 15:20 (UTC +04:00)

The national ban imposed by Bulgaria on imports of certain goods from Ukraine will be lifted after the EU market stabilisation measures agreed in late April come into force, Press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of Bulgaria said, APA reports citing European Pravda.

As Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia banned Ukrainian products to protect their local markets from the influx of Ukrainian agricultural products, the European Commission proposed several market stabilisation measures at the EU Agriculture Council meeting on 25 April.

The government added that Bulgaria will lift its ban as of the date when the EU measures come into force.

These measures include a second financial package to support farmers from the most affected countries in the amount of €100 million and the activation of emergency safeguard measures under the current Autonomous Trade Measures Regulation for four products (wheat, rapeseed, sunflower and maize) that are temporarily banned from import from Ukraine.

The European Commission will also regularly monitor other products and introduce safeguard mechanisms in case of market disturbances. It will also take measures to improve the logistics and transit of goods from Ukraine.

On 19 April, the Bulgarian government banned imports of more than 20 goods from Ukraine for two months, including wheat, wheat flour, sunflower, sunflower oil, maize, honey and bee products, raw and powdered milk, walnuts, hazelnuts, eggs, chicken, pork, sheep and goat meat, rye, barley, wine, and ethyl alcohol.

Concerned that its market would be oversupplied with grain crops, Bulgaria practically followed the example of Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, commented Yavor Gechev, the then Minister of Agriculture.

Bulgaria received €16 million in compensation from the EU for allowing Ukrainian grain and food products to be exported through its territory.

The country has asked for another €50 million, although Bulgarian grain producers receive hundreds of millions of euros in direct European subsidies.

On 2 May, the European Commission adopted exceptional and temporary safeguard measures on imports of certain agricultural products from Ukraine.

Thus, the European Commission replaced the unilateral decisions of five countries with its own regulation and now the import ban applies to four agricultural products: wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine.