Council adopts temporary trade liberalization measures

The Council adopted a regulation temporarily liberalizing trade in seven Moldovan agricultural products which are not yet fully liberalised: tomatoes, garlic, table grapes, apples, cherries, plums and grape juice. This means that Moldova can at least double its exports of these products – for a period of one year – to the European Union without any customs duties.

“We cannot ignore the impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on Moldova. With the lifting of duties on the remaining agricultural products which are not yet fully liberalized, Moldova can now export to at least twice as many of these products to the EU without duties. With these exceptional duty measures, the EU is deepening its trade relations with Moldova and showing its support for the stabilization of the Moldovan economy.” said Jozef Síkela, Czech Minister of Industry and Trade.

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine has had a devastating effect on Ukraine, as well as on the Republic of Moldova. This has hurt Moldova’s ability to trade with the rest of the world, as its exports rely heavily on Ukrainian infrastructure and because it has largely lost access to its markets in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Upon entry into force, today’s decision will apply, for a period of one year, to seven agricultural products from Moldova which are currently still subject to tariff quotas upon entry into the EU. The temporary trade liberalization measures will redirect these exports to the EU.

The decision is conditional on compliance with the principles set out in Article 2 of the Agreement establishing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which liberalized almost all trade with Moldova, with the exception of seven agricultural products covered by this regulation.

Context and next steps
The Commission has presented its proposal for temporary trade liberalization measures supplementing the trade concessions applicable to Moldovan products under the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their States States, of the one part, and the Republic of Moldova, of the other part, on 9 June 2022.

On June 29, the Council sent a letter to the European Parliament signaling its agreement with the regulation, which was then voted on by the EP plenary on July 5, 2022.

Now that the regulation has been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, it will be signed and published in the Official Journal, before entering into force the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Source: Council of the European Union

Amalia H. Mercado