17 November 2014
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Alfred Sant (S&D)
Subject: Trade relations with Ukraine
1. In view of the recent developments in trade relations with Ukraine, how does the Commission expect the customs authorities of individual Member States to be able to distinguish between goods from Ukraine proper and those from Crimea, Sevastopol or the Ukrainian regions currently under the control of rebel forces?
2. Furthermore, given the proposed legislation to remove custom duties on goods originating from Ukraine while prohibiting goods originating from Crimea or Sevastopol, is this not effectively a de facto recognition on the part of the EU of the creation of a second entity within Ukraine?
4 February 2015
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission
As regards the question how to distinguish between goods from Ukraine proper and those from Crimea/Sevastopol, traders importing goods in the EU must ensure compliance with the EU restrictive measures legislation. Furthermore, the EU Member States’ customs authorities have a range of routine measures to identify potential cases of circumvention of the regulations on restrictive measures, including risk management tools and verification proceedings in cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities.
As regards the second question, the EU has coherently adopted a policy on non-recognition of the illegal annexation, including among others trade restrictions in respect of products of Crimea/Sevastopol origin, and limitations to investments
The adoption by the European Parliament and by the Council of a regulation granting autonomous trade preferences to Ukraine was based on the decision to support the economic stabilisation of the country. At the same time, the EU’s respect for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity has led to the condemnation, jointly with the authorities in Kiev, of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation.
It should also be noted that the import prohibition that entered into force on 24 June 2014 does not apply to goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol which have been made available to the Ukrainian authorities for examination, for which compliance with the conditions conferring entitlement to preferential origin has been verified in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 374/2014 or in accordance with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.