Access to EU for Ukrainian Industry and Safe Goods for Ukrainian Consumers

The European Union and the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine analysed the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), its objectives, scope and possible impact at an international conference in Kyiv on 21 May 2013.

“Signature of the Association Agreement with the EU and the establishment of the DCFTA will bring Ukraine closer to the European Union” – stated Mr Valerii Piatnistkii, the State Commissioner for European Integration at the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. “This is a real rapprochement, which will give possibilities for Ukrainian businesses to work with the EU Single Market. The DCFTA aims to achieve future of a maximum economic integration, which does not have analogues in the former experience of the European Union [with partner countries]”.

“The DCFTA is the most ambitious bilateral agreement that the EU has ever negotiated with a trading partner. The DCFTA will not only open up our markets by reducing import tariffs, it will also lead to better regulation across all economic sectors, as well as safer products and improved services for citizens” – further explained Mr Nicholas Burge, Head of the Trade and Economic Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. “The key is to look at the long term benefits for Ukraine. The DCFTA does not offer unrealistic promises about a transformed economy tomorrow. The real world doesn’t work like that, despite what some people might pretend.”

Mr Evangelos Vardakas, former Director for Enterprise and Industry at the European Commission, presented the history of expansion of the free movement of goods in the EU Single Market to other countries, and explained the novelty of the DCFTA.The removal of non-tariff barriers to trade and the ongoing reforms of the Ukrainian system of technical regulation was the focus of discussions. Mr Leonid Vitkin, Chief Consultant of the Presidential Administration, highlighted future steps: “We need to consolidate and accelerate reforming the legislation and quality infrastructure institutions, so that our industry and people can obtain all possible benefits from increased cross-border trade and improvement of the investment climate in Ukraine”. Mr Volodymyr Vakulych, Head of Division in the Department for Technical Regulation in the Ministry for Economic development and Trade, explained: “Reforming the Ukrainian system for technical regulation will facilitate the signature of the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products, which will form an integral part of the DCFTA, which, in its turn, will be a part of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.”

The EU supports the removal of technical barriers to trade with Ukraine through several co-operation programmes and projects, including the € 45 million Sector Policy Support Programme, which runs from 2009-2013 with a possible one year extension. Within a Sector Policy Programme, the EU and Ukraine agree on a set of concrete goals, based on the country’s Strategy in a particular sector. Taking into account the opinion of civil society, the EU and Ukrainian partners review if the goals were met. If they are achieved and the over­all system of public finances is improving, the EU disburses the agreed amount to the State Budget, to further contribute to the country’s reforms. The conference was organised by the EU-funded project devoted to the removal of technical barriers to trade.

Source: EEAS