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EU Intends To Impose Tariffs On Grain Imports From Russia And Belarus


Published Date: March 30, 2024
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The European Commission suggested on Friday putting taxes on grain imports from Belarus and Russia in an effort to stop Moscow and its partner from manipulating EU markets and appeasing farmers who have been protesting low-cost imports for months. According to the Commission, the levies are also intended to prevent Russia from using stolen grain from Ukraine as a means of financing its war in that country. In order to prevent disruptions to worldwide supplies, the EU has specifically refrained from putting restrictions on Russian agricultural produce.

The Commission stated that even with tariffs, grain shipments to other nations could still be funded, insured, stored, and transported within the bloc. Early this week, traders claimed that the duties were mainly symbolic and that there were not as many imports from Belarus and Russia to the EU as there were from Ukraine. In 2023, Russia sent 4.3 million metric tons of grains, oilseeds, and goods produced from them to the EU, totaling 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion). According to a Commission official, this accounted for roughly 1% of the EU market.

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EU Considers Tariffs on Russian Wheat and Oilseeds to Counteract Import Surge

Nonetheless, given that Russian wheat exports have increased to 50 million tons from the customary 35 million tons, the Commission stated there was a chance imports could rise. For grains, the taxes will be 95 euros ($102.76) per ton, and for oilseeds, they will be 50%. After receiving permission from EU countries, which should happen in a few weeks, they can be implemented. The proposal was made during a discussion among EU leaders about how to address farmer concerns regarding environmental regulations and the lifting of tariffs on agricultural products imported from Ukraine following Russia's invasion in 2022.

Decreases inside the bloc have resulted from the latter. Poland and France have both criticised the tentative agreement made on Wednesday to prolong tariff-free access for an additional year while imposing new restrictions on a few food items. Regarding excluding actions aimed toward Belarus and Russia, there is more consensus. The agriculture ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania wrote to the Commission on Wednesday pleading with it to take action.

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