The Entrepreneurship Council calls for withdrawal from the ban and re-examination of the problem caused by the influx of agricultural products from Ukraine to the Polish market. “The actions of the government not only directly affect the interests of Polish entrepreneurs in the agricultural products industry, but can also have serious consequences on the international arena” – it was written.
“The Entrepreneurship Council strongly negatively assesses the solutions adopted in the Regulation of the Minister of Development and Technology of April 15, 2023 introducing a ban on imports from Ukraine agricultural products,” it said in a statement dated April 21.
As it was emphasized, the “firm objection” concerns not only the solutions adopted in the regulation, but also the mode of their implementation. “Implementation of regulations so important for the agri-food sector (both in Poland and Ukraine) immediately, without extensive consultations and without deep consideration of the consequences of their introduction, repeats the worst legislative practices and, in our opinion, will contribute more to deepening the chaos on the market than to its arrangement,” he explained.
Multidimensional and negative consequences
It was added that the ban will have multidimensional, going beyond the sphere of the economy, negative consequences. “First of all, it will hit Polish entrepreneurs conducting fair trade in agricultural products with Ukrainian partners” – it was written.
“The Entrepreneurship Council agrees with the arguments presented by the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce in its position of April 17 this year, in which it was indicated, among others, that in the case of many products indicated in the regulation, the import ban is disproportionate and violates the interests of many Polish companies ” – it was noticed.
“Government’s actions directly affect the interests of Polish entrepreneurs”
As assessed, “the actions of the government not only directly affect the interests of Polish entrepreneurs in the agricultural products industry, but can also cause serious consequences on the international arena.”
“The introduction of the ban and the manner in which it was done undermine the good image and credibility of Poland as a country that has so far been held up as a model in the context of helping Ukraine. The loss of the huge, positive capital of Polish-Ukrainian relations built after the outbreak of the war will result in only losses in the moral or political dimension, but it may lead to the weakening of our position in many potential joint projects, including those related to the reconstruction of Ukraine.
According to the Entrepreneurship Council, “such a drastic solution to the problem may be interpreted as a violation of the applicable EU trade rules and lead to another conflict with the European Commission. This will further weaken Poland’s credibility as a reliable and predictable partner in the eyes of EU institutions and member states.”
At the same time – as it was written – “the grain crisis revealed the absolute lack of preparation of our logistics infrastructure to play the role of ‘trade window to the world’ for Ukraine”.
“The problems with the transit of a relatively small surplus of imported grain shows how large and urgent investments Polish infrastructure requires, especially railway and port infrastructure. If we do not urgently launch investment projects, Poland will lose a historic opportunity to support Ukraine, with the simultaneous benefit of our economy” – it was pointed out.
A call to lift the ban
The Entrepreneurship Council called for withdrawal from the introduced solutions and “re-examination, this time with the broad participation of social partners and taking into account the potential effects, of the problem caused by the influx of agricultural products from Ukraine to the Polish market.”
“This dialogue should lead to the implementation of solutions that will protect the interests of all participants of the agri-food market in Poland and will help maintain the image of Poland as a reliable partner in the field of politics and economy on the international arena. Politicians making reckless decisions should be aware that the negative effects of introducing of the ban – including the loss of trust in partners from Poland – will weigh on all Polish companies, not only those dealing with agricultural and food trade.
Members of the Entrepreneurship Council are: ABSL, Business Center Club, Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, Confederation Lewiatan, Polish Chamber of Commerce, Polish Business Council, Employers of Poland, Polish Bank Association, Polish Craft Association.
Ban on importing products from Ukraine
On Saturday, the regulation on the ban on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine entered into force. Pursuant to the annex, the ban applies to: cereals, sugar, dried fodder, seeds, hops, flax and hemp, fruit and vegetables, processed fruit and vegetable products, wine, beef and veal, milk and milk products, pork, mutton and goat meat, eggs , poultry meat, ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, bee products and other products.
This regulation was changed on Friday. The new regulation maintains the ban on importing certain products from Ukraine to Poland, but makes an exception for transit. On Thursday, the regulation of the Minister of Finance was published, under which the transport of cereals, eggs and poultry meat, as well as bee products, was covered by the monitoring system for the transport of goods (the SENT system) from Friday.
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