The duty-free trade regime has been extended until June 2025

On May 13, the EU Council finally approved the extension of the duty-free trade regime for Ukraine for another 12 months – the «trade visa-free regime» will now apply until June 2025. This is stated in a statement by the Ministry of Economy.

According to First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko, this is an extremely important aspect of political support for Ukraine, despite the sensitivity of the issue of agricultural trade.

«Most Ukrainian goods are exported to the EU without restrictions under the Association Agreement. In particular, all industrial goods are no longer subject to customs duties. The EU’s autonomous trade preferences apply to agricultural products that were not fully liberalized in the Agreement. These are 36 categories of goods for which tariff quotas were provided, as well as goods subject to the entry price system. As of June 2022, these restrictions have been lifted and now full freedom of trade will be in effect until June 2025,» she explained.

EU’s autonomous trade preferences also stipulate that anti-dumping and safeguard measures will not be applied to metallurgical products.

At the same time, a sharp change in trade flows between Ukraine and the EU, in particular, a sharp increase in trade in certain goods through neighboring EU member states, has led to a number of negative decisions, including the blocking of the border. According to Svyrydenko, Ukraine has been working for a long time with both the governments of neighboring states and EU institutions to eliminate these phenomena. As a response to them, the EU regulation on the extension of the trade visa-free regime contains provisions on special protective measures.

«The most important thing is that both Ukraine and the EU have agreed that this extension of autonomous trade preferences will be the last one and that by next summer the parties will update the Association Agreement to establish the expected terms of trade for the period before joining the EU,» said Svyrydenko.

According to her, such negotiations will cover not only duties on agricultural products that have not yet been liberalized, but also production standards, to remove prejudice against Ukrainian products. The Government will also try to achieve the removal of all temporary measures taken by neighboring EU member states and Ukraine that contradict the logic of open trade.

Currently, the EU’s share in Ukraine’s exports is 65% and in imports 51%. According to the European Commission, the EU’s imports from Ukraine amounted to €22.8 billion last year, compared to the pre-war level of €24 billion in 2021.

The EU introduced autonomous measures for trade with Ukraine on June 4, 2022. The new measures will come into force on June 6 this year.

In April 2024, the EU created the Ukraine Investment Framework, which is a financial instrument and a component of the €50 billion Ukraine Facility. It is designed to stimulate public and private investment for the country’s recovery and reconstruction.