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EU to place tariffs on imports of Russian and Belarus grain
Posttime: 2024-03-26    Author: Shandong CYNDA (Group) Co., Ltd.

In a big shift, the European Union is planning to impose tariffs on Russian grain, part of an effort to curb Moscow's export revenue and appease European farmers who are angry about imports of cheaper agricultural products.


The plan--the bloc's first push to restrict food products from Russia during the war--comes amid protests over Ukrainian agricultural imports by farmers who have at times set up blockades at border crossings. The tariffs will apply to EU imports of cereals, oilseeds and derived products from Russia and its ally Belarus.


The EU doesn't import a large volume of grains from Russia, but officials are worried that the amount could rise. Russia's overall grain exports to the world have jumped since the war in 2022, EU officials said.


The EU tariffs are expected to be set at a level of 95 euros, equivalent to around $103, a metric ton for most cereal products and 50% for oilseeds and derived products, an official said. The tariffs are intended to be at a level where imports of those products to the bloc will no longer be viable.


Most of those products don't currently face tariffs when they enter the EU market.


The tariff proposal was published on Friday by the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, and needs approval from the EU's member states before it can take effect.


The bloc had previously avoided trade measures targeting food products from Russia because of concerns that they could impact global access to food, especially in low-income countries. European officials said Friday that they didn't expect the new tariffs to harm global food security because no new restrictions will be placed on products that transit through the EU.


By making it harder to import Russian agricultural products to the EU, the tariffs should create an incentive for Moscow to increase its exports to markets outside of the EU, the bloc said.


European farmers have staged protests in recent weeks over what they view as a flood of cheap agricultural imports, including from Ukraine, prompting growing concern from political leaders.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has complained that Russia has been able to export to the EU market without major restrictions.


The push for tariffs on Russian grain comes after EU lawmakers reached a separate political deal to extend tariff exemptions for agricultural imports from Ukraine, while also establishing a so-called emergency brake that would reimpose duties on certain products if import volumes surge.(By Kim Mackrael and Laurence Norman)


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