The new clauses should facilitate the implementation of the agreement and ensure its compliance by member states

The European Commission (EC) has proposed to extend the agreement on the liberalization of road freight transport (transport visa-free regime) with Ukraine and Moldova at least until the end of 2025. At the same time, the introduction of new clauses is being considered. This is stated in the report of the institution.

«As traditional transport routes in the region have been disrupted or closed due to Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine and the inaccessibility of the Black Sea as a traditional trade route for the two countries, an extension until at least the end of 2025 will help secure supply chains,» the EC said.

Based on an exchange of views with the bloc’s member states, Ukraine and stakeholders, the European Commission took into account the lessons learned from the implementation of the current EU-Ukraine transport agreement. Although the scope of the agreement will remain unchanged, the EC has proposed changes that will facilitate its implementation and enforcement by EU countries.

In particular, it is proposed to make it mandatory:

  • documents confirming that the transport operator is duly authorized to carry out international transportation and does so in accordance with the agreement;
  • availability of special documents for empty transport confirming that the operations it performs are related to transit or bilateral operations, as required by the agreement.

In addition, a clause is proposed on compliance by road transportation operators with obligations related to operations permitted under the agreement, combating fraud or forgery of driving documents, and offenses related to road safety. Such offenses may result in license revocation.

It is also proposed to add a separate safeguard clause – if serious violations occur in the national road transportation market in a certain geographical area that may be related to the agreement, its validity in that geographical area may be suspended.

«These measures will facilitate the implementation of the agreement without prejudice to mutual benefits. The agreement was very positive for both the EU and Ukraine, allowing them to significantly increase their exports to each other’s markets. The agreement with Ukraine, as well as with Moldova, is also important for supporting the Solidarity Roads,» the EC said in a statement.

The proposals are currently before the European Council, which is to give the European Commission a mandate to negotiate with Ukraine and Moldova.

According to the EC, Ukrainian exports by road to the EU have increased significantly since the agreement came into force: by about two-thirds in terms of volume and about one-third in terms of value. In absolute terms, more than 300 thousand additional tons of goods were exported to the EU every month after the signing of the transport visa-free regime.

Ukraine’s imports from the EU increased by a similar amount in physical terms, namely by about 300 thousand tons per month. At the same time, in value terms, they grew almost three times faster than Ukrainian exports, amounting to more than €700 million per month compared to €250 million in exports.

The transport visa-free regime was signed in June 2022 and is valid until June this year.

As GMK Center reported earlier, over the year and a half since the agreement on liberalization of freight transportation between Ukraine and the EU came into force, Ukrainian exports to the EU have increased by 47.5% compared to the same period before it was signed.