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EU imposes prohibitive tariffs on Russian and Belarusian grain products

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 The Council of the European Union has adopted a regulation that aims to levy prohibitive tariffs on grain products imported from Russia and Belarus. The regulation increases duties on cereals, oilseeds and derived products from Russia and Belarus to a point that will in practice halt imports of these products.

The regulation increases import tariffs for cereals, oilseeds and derived products as well as beet-pulp pellets and dried peas from the Russian Federation, as well as from the Republic of Belarus, for which, at present, importers pay no or low tariffs. In addition, those goods will be barred from access to the Union’s tariff rate quotas.

The new tariffs set today aim to stop the imports of grain from Russia and Belarus into the EU in practice. These measures will therefore prevent the destabilisation of the EU’s grain market, halt Russian exports of illegally appropriated grain produced in the territories of Ukraine and prevent Russia from using revenues from exports to the EU to fund its war of aggression against Ukraine. This is yet another way in which the EU is showing steady support to Ukraine.
Vincent Van Peteghem, Belgian minister for finance

These measures concern products originating in or exported directly or indirectly from the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus to the EU. They will not affect transit through the EU from both countries to other third countries.

The measures will enter into force on 1 July 2024. The EU’s imports of grain products from Russia have significantly increased since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. While the Russian Federation remains a relatively small supplier of those products to the EU market, it is a leading world-wide producer and exporter of those products. 

Given its current volumes of exports to the world, the Russian Federation could reorient significant volumes of supplies of those products to the EU, causing a sudden inflow from its large existing stocks, thereby disrupting the EU market.  There is also evidence that the Russian Federation is currently illegally appropriating large volumes of such products in territories of Ukraine, which it illegally occupies, and routing them to its export markets as allegedly Russian products.

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These measures will therefore prevent the EU market from being destabilised, halt Russian exports of illegally appropriated grain produced in the territories of Ukraine and prevent Russia from using revenues from exports to the EU to fund its war of aggression against Ukraine.

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