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In 2014, Ukraine and the EU signed a free-trade agreement in the form of an Association Agreement that contains a Title IV which relates to trade and trade related matters and has been applied since 1 January 2016. Article 29 of the Association Agreement provides for the progressive elimination of customs duties in accordance with the schedules included in the agreement and envisages the possibility to accelerate and broaden such elimination.

Following a request of Ukraine, the European Commission has decided to put forward a proposal introducing the following trade-liberalising measures for products originating in Ukraine:

  • the temporary suspension of all outstanding tariffs under Title IV of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, which concerns three categories of products: (i) industrial products subject to duty phase out by the end of 2022, (ii) fruits and vegetables subject to entry-price system, and (iii) agricultural products and processed agricultural products subject to tariff-rate quotas;
  • the temporary non-allocation of anti-dumping duties on imports originating in Ukraine;
  • the temporary suspension of the application of the common rules for imports safeguards (as per Regulation 2015/478) on products originating in Ukraine.

These measures should apply for a period of one year as from the entry into force of the Regulation.

As Ukraine faces difficulty to access to its ports on the Black Sea, the objective of these temporary measures is to maintain the trade position of Ukraine with the rest of the world. It also aims to foster the trade relationship between Ukraine and the EU by facilitating overland logistics and increasing the degree of market liberalisation. It is worth noting that Ukrainian exporters would still be required to prove the preferential origin of their product, as set forth in the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, to benefit from the measures above.

The European Parliament and the Council will have to approve the proposal before this Regulation becomes effective.

Author

Jennifer Revis is a partner in Baker McKenzie's London office and co-leads our EMEA Customs Team.
Jennifer focuses her practice on the public regulation of international trade, particularly in a wide range of customs compliance issues. She regularly advises clients on import matters, including customs valuation, rules of origin, and classification. She has worked with clients designing and implementing their compliance programs, policies, procedures and risk assessments, and assisting them in customs audits. She has significant experience in managing global customs projects and disputes, particularly in the area of customs valuation (transfer pricing; assists; royalties). Jennifer also advises on FTAs and trade remedies matters.
Jennifer has been consistently recognised as a "Leading Individual" for Customs & Excise and “Next Generation Partner” for Trade, WTO Anti-Dumping And Customs. Clients describe her as "an outstanding customs lawyer and litigator with fantastic experience. She is also easy to work with and leads her team with aplomb", "without a doubt, one of the best customs lawyers in the business (…) with an exceptionally deep knowledge of customs valuation concepts, as well as considerable experience applying those concepts in a variety of jurisdictions."
Jennifer has been on secondment to the UK customs authorities (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) in their tax and excise litigation department and to the Firm's European Law Centre in Brussels.

Author

Sylvain Guelton is a senior associate in the Tax Practice Group in the Brussels office. He joined Baker McKenzie in 2022. He was previously a senior manager at PwC Belgium for six years and a lawyer in a French law firm based in Paris and Brussels.

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