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Gov't Issues Decree on Ukrainian Grain Ban

Trade

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Hungary's government has issued a decree temporarily banning imports of Ukrainian grain and other farm products in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny.

The decree, in force from Wednesday, bans imports of grain, oilseed, eggs, honey, poultry, pork, beef, vegetables, and bread from Ukraine until June 30.

The government states in the decree that a European Union exemption of Ukrainian farm products from customs duties and quotas intended to expedite exports to countries in the Middle East and Africa has left a "significant share" of those deliveries at "dumping prices" in member states, causing "serious disruptions" on the internal market.

The situation requires bringing measures to defend the farming sector and consumers "to a new level", similar to actions taken by a number of other member states in the CEE region. The decree notes that Poland introduced an import ban on certain Ukrainian farm products on April 15 and Slovakia has started to restrict the use of Ukrainian grain.

The government says in the decree that the temporary effect of the ban should allow sufficient time to "rethink" the operation of "solidarity corridors" for Ukrainian farm products.

The decree requires shipments of the banned products bound for destinations outside of Hungary to be sealed and tracked using the Ekáer electronic oversight system.

Violators may be fined up to 100% of the net value of their shipment.

In a written response sent on Wednesday to a joint letter from the leaders of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged concerns over increased farm imports from Ukraine but said a "common European approach" is needed. She said the EC is drafting another financial support package, worth EUR 100 million, for affected farmers.

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