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EU proposes increased tariffs on Russian grain imports

28 March 20242 min reading

The European Commission has unveiled a proposal to raise tariffs on grain imports from Russia and Belarus, including cereals, oilseeds, and related products. This move aims at safeguarding the EU market from potential disruptions posed by an influx of Russian grain, the European Commission stated.

Under the proposed measures, the EU would impose a €95-per-tonne tariff on Russian maize and wheat, along with an “ad valorem duty” of 50% on other affected products. Similarly, Belarusian grain imports would face the same tariff regime. These tariffs are set at levels intended to discourage imports, with the goal of safeguarding the EU market from potential disruptions. Russian grain exports totaled 4.2 million tonnes valued at €1.3 billion, while Belarus sold 610,000 tonnes worth €246 million.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that the proposal is a preventive measure aimed at safeguarding the EU market from potential disruptions caused by an influx of Russian grain. She underscored the importance of preventing Russian exports, including illegally appropriated Ukrainian grain, from entering the EU market and funding Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine.

The proposal also includes provisions to prevent Russia from using Belarus as a conduit to circumvent the tariffs and channel its goods into the EU market. Furthermore, transit of grain products from Russia and Belarus to third countries will remain unaffected by the proposed tariffs.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, described the proposal as a necessary step to prevent significant increases in Russian and Belarusian grain imports, which could destabilize the EU food market. He emphasized that the measure will not only safeguard EU food security but also help choke off a crucial revenue source for the Russian government to fund its illegal war in Ukraine.

The proposal will now be considered by the Council of the European Union. Once adopted, the tariffs will be implemented immediately, signaling the EU’s commitment to supporting its economy and farming communities while upholding its solidarity with Ukraine.

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