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Poland to lift import ban on Ukrainian food as EU regulations kick in

Poland is planning to lift its temporary ban on the imports of Ukrainian agricultural products after agreeing a set of EU restrictions with Brussels, the agriculture ministry has said.

On Friday, the European Commission and EU member states agreed to implement a number of measures aimed to protect the markets of the EU’s Eastern European members that have suffered depressed prices due to the inflow of cheaper Ukrainian produce. The new regulations are to be in force from Tuesday.

The EU opened its borders to Ukrainian goods after the country was invaded by Russia in February 2022, but by mid-April this year protests by farmers had forced Poland as well as Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania to implement local bans, which Brussels said were arbitrary and not in line with EU policy.

“We decided to take temporary measures to restrict imports to Poland owing to lack of other tools that would ensure security,” Robert Telus, the Polish agriculture minister, said in his ministry’s statement. “After implementing those measures, the European Commission, acting upon our motion, declared to adopt restrictions on the imports of four key products that we have motioned for.”

The EU will restrict the imports of Ukrainian grain, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, while other products will be monitored. The EU will also launch a EUR 100 million aid package for local farmers in the five countries. Additionally, it will foster the creation of “humanitarian corridors” to streamline the transit of Ukrainian goods to other countries.

“In connection with the planned implementation of key restrictions on products that are most important for the Polish market, we are planning to waive the national regulations on the imports of goods,” the ministry said in its statement. “The negotiated EU regulations will be applied instead.”

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