Romania and Ukraine to develop a grain licensing system
Ukraine and Romania will jointly develop a plan to control grain exports, it should help protect Romanian farmers
Romanian Minister of Agriculture Florin Barbu announced this, Reuters reports.
The Romanian minister's statement came after the Ukrainian side proposed to the European Commission, as well as Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary, an export control plan for wheat, corn, sunflower and rapeseed to protect local markets.
Bucharest has approved the introduction of export licenses for a number of agricultural products for export to five Eastern EU countries.
"Export licenses for Ukrainian companies will become operational in 30 days. During this time, Romania will also create a clear import-licensing procedure for Romanian farmers and processors," he said.
Barbu expressed confidence that this mechanism, proposed by the EC and taken on board by Ukraine and negotiated by Romania, will fully function.
According to him, Romania will issue import licenses only to domestic farmers and food processors who need to replenish their stocks, not to intermediaries. The official added that safety inspections will be carried out for all imports.
Some details regarding ban on Ukraine grain imports
In April, Romanian farmers demanded a ban on grain imports and transit from Ukraine, threatening a nationwide protest. Meanwhile, Hungary was the second country to temporarily ban imports of grain and oilseeds from Ukraine, following Poland. On April 16, media reported that Bulgaria was also considering refusing to import Ukrainian grain. On the same day, a spokesman for the European Commission said that unilateral actions by EU member states on trade were unacceptable.
On April 17, Slovakia became the third EU country to ban imports of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products.
On June 5, the European Union decided to extend the ban on imports of certain agricultural products from Ukraine for five EU members until September 15, but promised to gradually lift it. Сonsequently, on September 15, the European Commission decided not to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain exports to the EU: Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia announced that they would extend the embargo unilaterally.
On September 19, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine will file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization and may retaliate by banning imports of goods from Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. The next day, Polish President Andrzej Duda criticized Ukraine's actions regarding the Polish embargo on Ukrainian grain and said that he and his government would defend the interests of Polish farmers.