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The Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine, was negotiated between 2007 and 2011, and signed on 21 March and 27 June 2014.
The DCFTA has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2016. The Association Agreement (AA) formally entered into force on 1 September 2017 following ratification by all EU Member States.
The Association Agreement is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together: it promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values.
The Priority Action Plan (PAP) (see infographic) for enhanced implementation of the EU-Ukraine DCFTA in 2023-2024 lays down a set of concrete actions to accelerate and monitor the full implementation of the DCFTA, providing Ukraine with further access to the EU Single Market.
- The EU is Ukraine's largest trading partner, accounting for 39.5% of its trade in 2021. Ukraine is the EU's 15th biggest trading partner, accounting for around 1.2% of the EU's total trade. Total trade between the EU and Ukraine reached almost €52.4 billion in 2021, almost doubling since the entry into force of the DCFTA in 2016.
- Ukraine's exports to the EU amounted to €24.1 billion in 2021, a considerable increase of more than 47% compared to the previous year. Ukraine's main exports to the EU are iron and steel (20.8% of total exports), ores, stag and ash (12.5%), animal and vegetable fats and oils (8.5%) – notably sunflower seed oil, electrical machinery (7.8%) and cereals (7.3%).
- The EU's exports to Ukraine amounted to €28.3 billion in 2021. EU exports to Ukraine have increased by 22.4% since 2020. The EU's main exports to Ukraine are machinery (14.8% of all exports), transport equipment and vehicles (10.2%), mineral fuels (9.4%), electrical machinery (9.3%), and pharmaceutical products (5.9%).
The EU and Ukraine
The AA/DCFTA aims to boost trade in goods and services between the EU and Ukraine by gradually cutting tariffs and bringing Ukraine's rules in line with those of the EU in certain industrial sectors and agricultural products.
To better integrate with the EU market, Ukraine is aligning its legislation to the EU's norms and standards for industrial and agri-food products. Ukraine is also approximating its legislation to the EU's in trade-related areas such as:
- Technical barriers to trade (TBT)
- Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS)
- Customs and trade facilitation
- Protection of intellectual property rights
Response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine
In response to the Russian Federation's illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014, the decision by the Russian Federation to recognise the non-government-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as independent entities in February 2022, and the Russian Federation's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine in 2022, the EU has introduced a series of trade-related restrictive measures.
Since 2014, the EU has banned the import of goods originating in Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as investments and a number of directly related services there. Similar restrictive measures were adopted on 23 February 2022 as regards the non government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
Temporary measures in support of Ukrainian exports to the EU
The EU has adopted a regulation allowing for temporary full trade liberalisation and the suspension of trade defence measures for one year. These measures entered into force on 4 June 2022 and will be in force until 5 June 2023. Thanks to these measures, the EU is significantly supporting Ukraine's economy.
More information: Monitoring data on imports from Ukraine into the EU subject to trade liberalisation measures
The regulation is just one of the measures adopted by the EU in solidarity with Ukraine. More information on other measures is available on the dedicated Commission site.
Export ban on unprocessed wood
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement prohibits any form of export restrictions.
In 2015, Ukraine introduced a 10-year export ban for all unprocessed wood, amending and supplementing a 2005 ban on ten wood species of low commercial relevance. The EU considered this ban to be in violation of the AA/DCFTA, and has raised the issue of the export ban at all levels and on all occasions since 2015. In 2020, the EU requested the establishment of an arbitration panel (the Panel) to settle this dispute. In December 2020, the Panel concluded that the export bans are incompatible with Article 35 of the AA, which forbids export prohibitions.
Committees and Dialogues
The EU and Ukraine meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices and oversee the proper functioning of the Agreement.
Technical committee meetings - agendas and reports
Trading with Ukraine
- Importing into the EU from Ukraine
- EU trade defence measures on imports from Ukraine (currently suspended)
- Exporting from the EU to Ukraine
- Trade relations are part of the EU's overall political and economic relations with Ukraine
- Ukraine is a member of the World Trade Organization
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