Romania considers suspending poultry imports from Ukraine, following the Hungarian model

As of today, Romania is establishing customs controls and will seal shipments from Ukraine.

Romania is considering, in the crisis of cheap Ukrainian grains, not only the suspension of imports of raw grains, but also other measures, including stopping poultry imports, following the Hungarian model, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă said on Wednesday. He made these statements before the talks that the Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daea, is to have today with his Ukrainian counterpart, Mikola Solski.

PM Ciucă stated that measures are being analyzed that would also target chicken meat, oil or bee honey.”Whatever measure we take, we will respect the European Union Regulation and we will take it so as not to affect farmers in Romania“, said the Romanian PM.

PSD – the party that leads the Ministry of Agriculture, through Petre Daea – announced on Tuesday that it will demand in the governing coalition that the Government of Romania urgently issue a normative act for the temporary suspension of imports of agri-food products from Ukraine, at as did the other states that have a common border with this country.

Romanian Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daea, had a discussion with his Ukrainian counterpart, Mikola Solski today, about the measures in the crisis of cheap Ukrainian grains.

During the conversation, Minister Petre Daea conveyed to his Ukrainian counterpart that the Romanian state will implement additional security measures (sealing and monitoring) for means of transport transiting Romania’s territory to third countries, to protect Romanian farmers who are facing difficulties due to the flow of Ukrainian grain. Minister Daea reiterated that Romania, as a member state, supports the European Commission’s efforts to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and will continue to ensure the transit of grain from this country to third countries and traditional trade routes.

Also, the Ukrainian minister was informed that from today Romania is establishing controls directly in customs, coordinated by ANSVSA, for all agri-food products coming from Ukraine, with sampling for qualitative determination in accordance with European legislation, and not at the destination as happen so far. The decision was taken considering that levels of pesticides above the limit allowed in the EU were discovered in another European country.

At the same time, Minister Daea sent the Ukrainian side the request to quickly identify solutions for restricting exports of cereals and oilseeds (sunflower, rapeseed) to Romania, considering the difficulties encountered by Romanian farmers.

The European Union in May 2022 suspended for one year customs duties on all products imported from Ukraine and had organized itself to allow it to export its grain stocks after the closure of sea routes through the Black Sea, caused by the Russian invasion. Instead of a simple transit, however, the neighboring European states found that corn, wheat and sunflowers from Ukraine are accumulating on their territory due to logistical problems, which caused the prices of local products to drop, notes AFP.

More money for farmers from EC

Today, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed three measures after officials from five countries asked for support in the context of cheap Ukrainian grains, including Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă. The head of the EC also specified that “a European approach” is needed to solve the challenges caused by the entry of grains from Ukraine into the EU market,

The President of the EC emphasized that “she is fully aware of the concerns caused by the increase in imports of certain Ukrainian agricultural products on the EU market”, and that “by virtue of the single market and the customs union, a European approach is needed to respond to the concerns”, said EC spokesperson Dana Spinant.

In this context, Von der Leyen mentioned “three proposals” to address the situation. First of all, Brussels proposes to support farmers who suffer as a result of this situation”, stated the spokesperson, who reminded that the European Commission has already granted 56.3 million euros for the most affected producers and that, also, The EC is ready to grant a second financial package, worth 100 million euros.

Secondly, the Commission informed that it will adopt “preventive measures” for certain categories of grain produced in Ukraine, including wheat, corn or sunflower.

Last but not least, the Community Executive is starting an “investigation” regarding other possible “sensitive products”, the cited source mentioned.

Bulgaria joins countries suspending imports

The list of countries banning food imports from Ukraine grew on Wednesday after Bulgaria announced it would follow Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Bulgaria has imposed a temporary ban on food imports from Ukraine, with the exception of goods in transit, interim Prime Minister Galab Donev announced at the beginning of the government meeting, reports Radio Bulgaria today.

“Over the past year, Bulgaria has had large volumes of food left in the country, disrupting supply chains. If the trend persists or intensifies, there may be extremely serious consequences for Bulgarian business. We are forced to adopt this national measure because the European authorities are still considering an appropriate measure. We count on the fact that the EU will understand the positions of Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We remain in solidarity with Ukraine, but the bankruptcy of Bulgarian farmers will not contribute to its cause,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Donev said.

Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have announced bans on grain and other food imports from Ukraine to protect their local agricultural sectors, according to Reuters. Farmers in Eastern European countries have complained that the influx of Ukrainian products has driven down prices and reduced their sales.

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