November 28, 2019


EU parliament stops imports of cheap Ukraine poultry from legal loophole


A legal loophole in the 2016 agreement between the European Union (UN) and Ukraine allowed the latter to export cheaper poultry meat into the EU.


The EU parliament agreed to modify the EU-Ukraine trade agreement, calling on Ukraine to accept the amended full trade agreement for the good cooperation of both parties.


The parliament added that similar food safety and health standards should be implemented to all products imported into the EU across the board.


The amendment will mean imports of boneless and bony chicken breasts will be based on a single tariff line, along with increased tariff-free imports from the Ukraine to the EU. Once the Ukraine has fully exhausted its implemented duty-free quota, the country will have to pay duties if it wants to export more products into the EU.


A producer from Ukraine managed to exploit the loophole to sell more chicken breast duty-free, a product important to EU farmers’ livelihood. There is an import quota to protect EU farmers from excessive imports, however the agreement allowed the legal import of chicken breast with one wing bone into the EU.


Enikő Győri, the rapporteur for the EU meeting called on exporters from the Ukraine to follow the amended full-trade agreement, inclusive of food sanitary and phytosanitary rules.


The modified agreement will be enforced once the EU Council has given its approval and after the agreement is rectified by Ukraine.


Between 2016 to 2018, 55,000 tonnes of bony chicken breast was imported into the EU from Ukraine, a fifteen-fold increase, as the meat was comparably cheaper to EU products.


Total poultry imports from Ukraine was only 1.1% in 2016 and 2017.


-  European Union Parliament