The EU proposes to extend full trade liberalisation to all Moldovan imports into the EU and renew for another year. The Commission has proposed today to renew and expand the suspension of import duties and quotas on Moldovan exports to the European Union – known as Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) – for another year. The proposal would renew the current suspension of import duties on Moldovan exports to the EU for another year and extend this suspension to all remaining tariffs and tariff rate quotas on Moldovan imports. This is a clear signal of EU’s full support for Moldova’s economy and helps further alleviate the difficult situation faced by Moldovan producers and exporters because of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.
While the objective of the ATMs is to support Moldova’s economy, the measures cater for possible concerns in the EU’s agricultural sector by including an expedited safeguard mechanism in order to protect the Union market.
In force since 25 July 2022, the ATMs have had a positive effect on Moldova’s trade to the EU. Moldova’s exports to the rest of the world have suffered from Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine because they often relied on transit through Ukrainian territory and Ukrainian infrastructure. During the last year, the ATMs have assisted Moldova’s efforts to re-orient exports via the EU. Overall, exports from Moldova to the EU increased from €1.8 billion in 2021 to €2.6 billion in 2022.
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Unilateral and temporary in nature, the ATMs significantly broaden the scope of tariff liberalisation under the EU-Moldova Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area by suspending all outstanding duties and quotas. This means in practice that exports of seven agricultural products from Moldova which are subject to tariff-rate quotas will now be fully liberalised: tomatoes, garlic, table grapes, apples, cherries, plums and grape juice.
Most Moldovan exports already benefit from duty-free access to the EU market under the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, and the quantities and range of products covered by the ATMs are small.
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union will now consider the proposal with a view to ensuring the seamless transition from the current regime of ATMs to the new one.