REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction or elimination of customs duties on goods originating in Ukraine

24.3.2014 - (COM(2014)0166 – C7‑0103/2014 – 2014/0090(COD)) - ***I

Committee on International Trade
Rapporteur: Paweł Zalewski

Procedure : 2014/0090(COD)
Document stages in plenary
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on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction or elimination of customs duties on goods originating in Ukraine

(COM(2014)0166 – C7‑0103/2014 – 2014/0090(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0166),

–       having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 207(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7‑0103/2014),

–       having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–       having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0238/2014),

1.      Adopts its position at first reading, taking over the Commission proposal;

2.      Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.      Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


The rapporteur supports this legislative proposal without amendment and proposes that the Parliament endorses it without further modification, given the urgency of the situation in Ukraine. Indeed, Ukraine has gone through dramatic political times in recent months and its new government needs strong and immediate European assistance to fight off external pressures and to overcome economic and financial hardships.

The proposal of the Commission marks a strong political and economic support to Ukraine and must, in order to fully reach its objectives, a fast adoption in first reading by the co-legislators to be quickly signed and implemented. Unilateral trade preferences are a powerful tool of the EU (as observed in the case of Moldovan wine last year) and a cornerstone of the assistance package to Ukraine as presented by the Commission on 5 March and supported by Council on 6 March.

The proposal is both very useful and very sensible. By reducing temporarily and unilaterally its trade barriers (whether tariffs, quotas or tariff rate quotas) on the imports of Ukrainian goods into the EU to level agreed bilaterally in the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), the proposal will help Ukrainian companies in increasing their exports' volumes and in diversifying their exports' destinations. In other words, these unilateral preferences will help Ukraine save to the level of around several hundred million euros over the next months. (The Commission had assessed that, thanks to the DCFTA, Ukrainian exporters would save €487 million annually due to reduced EU import duties, which represented a removal of 98.1% of duties in trade value).

As a result, the precarious situation of Ukraine's balance of payments will improve and more foreign currencies will come into the country, contributing to restore economic and financial stability and appeasing the risks of currency devaluation in the country. By acting in a fast and decisive fashion, the EU gives Ukraine all the chances to restore sound economic conditions in Ukraine and prepare for the signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement / DCFTA.

Furthermore, the proposal is very balanced: its effect is limited in time and it sets minimum expectations for Ukraine to fulfil in order to benefit from the unilateral preferences. The measures are to last until the EU and Ukraine sign and provisionally apply the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area initialled by both parties on 19 July 2012 or at the latest until 1 November 2014. To benefit from the unilateral preferences, Ukraine will have to comply with rules of origin, establishing that the exported products are indeed originating from Ukraine, and to cooperate with the EU in order to prevent any risk of fraud. The EU maintains also a general safeguard provision in case, as a result of the liberalisation of imports from Ukraine, a sudden sharp increase of imports into the EU causes serious harm to EU producers in a given sector.



Reduction or elimination of customs duties on goods originating in Ukraine


COM(2014)0166 – C7-0103/2014 – 2014/0090(COD)

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Committee responsible

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       Date announced in plenary






Not delivering opinions

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Paweł Zalewski





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Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Maria Badia i Cutchet, David Campbell Bannerman, Daniel Caspary, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, George Sabin Cutaş, Metin Kazak, David Martin, Vital Moreira, Cristiana Muscardini, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Helmut Scholz, Robert Sturdy, Henri Weber, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Emma McClarkin, Peter Skinner

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Zdravka Bušić, Andrzej Grzyb, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Anna Ibrisagic, Marusya Lyubcheva, Iosif Matula, Horst Schnellhardt, Alda Sousa

Date tabled