EU facilitates increased exports of agricultural products from Moldova

More plums, grapes and other agricultural products from Moldova are expected to hit European markets duty-free soon. The European Commission has today proposed a regulation allowing temporary improved market access for the remaining seven products from Moldova that are still subject to tariff quotas when entering the EU. This is a demonstration of EU solidarity aimed at helping Moldova cope with the loss of its main markets and transit hubs for these key agricultural products resulting from Russia’s unjustified war of aggression. against Ukraine.

Ursula, President of the European Commission von der Leyensaid: “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression not only seriously affects the economy of Ukraine, but also that of its neighbors and our neighbours, in this case Moldova. Today’s decision to more than double seven quotas for Moldova’s main agricultural exports is a tangible sign of EU solidarity.”

Executive Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskysaid: “Moldova’s ability to trade with the world has been hit hard by Russia’s brutal and illegal war. By facilitating market access for key agricultural products, the EU is helping Moldova to redirect relevant trade. This will directly help Moldovan producers, supporting the country’s economic resilience in the current difficult circumstances. The EU is mobilizing once again to support a European neighbour.

European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowskisaid: “I hope this unprecedented step will help Moldovan producers alleviate some of the short-term market pressures. In the longer term, we encourage our Moldovan counterparts to invest in processing and production capacities with higher added value. Improving the quality of their products will help strengthen the position of Moldovan producers on the EU market. We are ready to provide technical assistance in this regard.

Virtually all Moldovan products can already enter the EU duty-free under the EU-Moldova Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

The proposed measures cover the remaining seven products for which Moldovan exports to the EU are not yet fully liberalized: plums, table grapes, apples, tomatoes, garlic, cherries and grape juice. The regulation more than doubles – for a period of one year – the quantity of these products that can be imported duty-free from Moldova into the EU. Potential duty-free volumes will now amount to around €55 million, including around €10 million of plums and €27 million of table grapes.

The further liberalization of imports into the EU will help Moldovan producers and exporters to overcome the market losses they suffered as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Combined with better access to road transport in the EU (currently under negotiation between Moldova and the EU), the liberalization should considerably facilitate the export of Moldovan products to and via the EU. Furthermore, we are ready to discuss further reciprocal liberalisation, which would allow the EU and Moldova to take a further step towards full trade liberalisation.

Next steps

The proposal must now be examined and approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Background

Moldova has benefited from an association agreement, including the DCFTA, with the EU since 2014. This preferential trading system has allowed Moldova to benefit from the elimination of customs duties for exports to the EU of all goods except seven agricultural products. Moldova also benefits from increased access to the EU services market and better investment conditions. For its part, Moldova is committed to approximating its legislation to the EU acquis in a wide range of areas.

The temporary and exceptional measures proposed today by the European Commission will further support and promote existing trade flows from Moldova to the EU and support the Moldovan economy. This is in line with the main objectives of the Association Agreement, which are to establish the conditions for closer economic and trade relations, leading to the gradual integration of Moldova into the EU internal market, as well to contribute to the strengthening of democracy and policies, and institutional stability in Moldova.

The EU is also supporting Moldova with significant financial assistance to help the country cope with the situation created by Russian aggression in Ukraine.

For more information

Text of the proposed regulation

EU-Moldova Association Agreement

EU solidarity with Moldova

Road transport liberalization negotiations between Moldova and the EU

Amalia H. Mercado