Bulgaria plans to lift ban on grain imports from Ukraine
The Bulgarian Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation has adopted a draft decision stating that the country does not support the extension of the ban on imports of certain agricultural products from Ukraine after September 15
Forbes Bulgaria reported the information.
The outlet noted that the final decision will be made at the plenary session.
The draft decision was supported by 10 committee members. Four spoke against it, and two abstained.
Thus, the draft position of Bulgaria states that the country does not support the extension of the emergency measure to ban imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia after September 15, 2023. The Council of Ministers was instructed to take the necessary measures to express its position.
"Following farmers' protests in these countries, the European Commission has imposed restrictions on wheat, rapeseed, sunflower and corn transit through these countries until September 15, but not on their domestic markets. The draft decision provoked a lively discussion in the Commission, with industry organizations that were present at the Commission meeting opposing it," Forbes reports.
Iliya Prodanov, head of the National Association of Grain Producers, said that the decision does not contain an analysis of the consequences it will lead to. And the text, he said, "jeopardizes Bulgarian producers."
Prodanov added that the decision threatens the agricultural sector in the country. He also noted that the current tension in the sector "will one day spill over on an extremely large scale." The head of the National Association of Grain Producers said that the association would protect the interests of producers "by all possible means."
Bulgaria's ban on imports of Ukrainian grain: background
On April 19, 2023, Bulgaria imposed a temporary ban on imports of grain and food products from Ukraine, but made an exception for transit goods.
The acting Prime Minister of Bulgaria Galab Donev said that this decision was dictated by the desire to protect the national producer. According to him, the main reason is that over the past year, contrary to the idea of the so-called solidarity corridors, significant amounts of food have remained in the country and disrupted the main production and trade chains.
At the same time, Donev noted that Bulgaria expects the EU to hear and understand the positions of Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia on the import of Ukrainian food.
In May, the Bulgarian government promised to lift the ban on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine after the EU's measures to stabilize the agricultural market take effect.
These measures include a second financial support package of EUR 100 million for farmers from the most affected countries and a number of safeguard mechanisms related to imports of four products (wheat, rapeseed, sunflower and corn).
In addition, the European Commission will regularly monitor other products and, in the event of market fluctuations, introduce safeguard mechanisms.