On 1 September 2017, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement came into full force. The Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) part, is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together. The DCFTA offers Ukraine a framework for modernising its trade relations and for economic development by opening up markets and harmonising laws, standards and regulations in various sectors. This will help align key sectors of the Ukrainian economy with EU standards.
The DCFTA has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2016, constituting a major milestone in bilateral trade relations and offering new economic opportunities to both the EU and Ukraine. Ukrainian businesses receive stable and predictable preferential access to the largest market in the world, with over 500 million consumers. EU businesses are able to benefit from easier access to the Ukrainian market and build new relationships with Ukrainian suppliers and partners.
On 1 October 2017 the additional autonomous trade measures of the EU for Ukraine entered into force. The EU regulation on the measures tops up the quantities of agricultural products that Ukraine can export to the EU under the Association Agreement without paying customs duties. It also accelerates the elimination of EU import tariffs for several industrial products, as foreseen in the Association Agreement.
Snapshot of trade statistics
The first concrete results of implementation of the DCFTA can already be seen: in the first half of 2017 – according to Eurostat – trade in goods between the EU and Ukraine increased by 23% and the EU continues to strengthen its position as the first trade partner of Ukraine, overall, the EU accounts for around 40% of Ukraine's total exports.
The main products Ukraine exports to the EU are base metals and articles thereof, vegetable products, mineral products, electric machinery and appliances, vegetable fats and oils. The main products the EU exports to Ukraine are machinery and appliances, products of the chemical industry, transport equipment, plastics, rubber and articles thereof and mineral products.
Foreign trade and investments are vitally important for both the Ukrainian and the EU economies, in terms of growth and jobs, lower prices, better quality and greater choice for consumers through increased competition, and so on.
The EU and Ukraine continue to work to ensure the opportunities and benefits for EU and Ukrainian business within the framework of the DCFTA.