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The European Commission has proposed that customs duties on all Ukrainian exports to the European Union be suspended for a year. The proposal, which is a gesture of support for the country in an unprecedented war, would also mean suspending for a year all safeguards against dumping currently in force for Ukrainian steel exports.

This far-reaching step is designed to help strengthen Ukraine’s exports to the EU. This will help alleviate the difficult situation of Ukrainian producers and exporters during the Russian military invasion.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression is seriously affecting the Ukrainian economy.

“I have spoken with President Zelensky about ways to support the economy, such as macro-financial assistance and grants. We agreed that the rapid abolition of import duties to strengthen the Ukrainian economy is of critical importance. The step we are taking today responds to this call. It will in great measure facilitate the export of Ukrainian industrial and agricultural goods to the EU. We continue to stand by Ukraine in these difficult times”, said von der Leyen.

Executive Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis explained the way this initiative works.

“The EU has never before carried out such measures of trade liberalisation, which are unprecedented in scope: allowing Ukraine to have zero customs duties, without quotas for access to the EU market. Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, the EU has given priority to preserving the Ukrainian economy – critical to help it win this war, and to get back on its feet after the war. These measures will directly help Ukrainian producers and exporters. They will bring confidence to the Ukrainian economy and send a strong signal that the EU will do whatever it takes to help Ukraine in the moment when it needs it the most”, said Dombrovskis.

In addition to the tragic loss of life and mass displacement of innocent civilians in Ukraine, Russian military aggression has had a devastating effect on the country’s economy and its ability to trade with the rest of the world, due to its serious impact on production capacity and vital export routes. In this difficult situation, the EU wants to do as much as possible to help Ukraine maintain its trading position with the rest of the world and further deepen its trade relations with the EU.

The EU is also already taking action on the ground to facilitate the transport of goods by land and help promote Ukrainian products to the world. For example, the Commission has already begun to liberalise conditions for Ukrainian drivers transporting goods between Ukraine and the EU, and to facilitate transit and the use of EU infrastructure to direct Ukrainian exports to third countries.

These measures will provide much-needed flexibility and security to Ukrainian producers.

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