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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Ukraine – grain. This is the Polish government’s response to the European Commission’s decision

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Poland will introduce a ban on the import of certain agricultural products from Ukraine. The list includes, among others: wheat, corn, wheat flour, rapeseed and sunflower seeds. On Friday evening, a regulation on this matter was published in the Journal of Laws. “The regulation is indefinite and will enter into force after publication at midnight,” said Waldemar Buda, Minister of Development and Technology.

On Friday evening, a draft regulation on the ban on imports was first published on the website of the Government Legislation Center Ukraine agricultural products to Poland, including: wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds. The regulations were prepared by the Ministry of Development and Technology.

“Union legislation allows Member States to apply prohibitions, quantitative restrictions or surveillance measures justified on grounds of public morality, public order or public security, the protection of human, animal or plant health and life, the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historical or archaeological value or protection of industrial and commercial property” – provided in the justification to the project.

As added, “the proposed regulation also implements the guidelines of the resolution of the Council of Ministers of September 12, 2023 on taking actions aimed at extending preventive measures regarding the import of certain products from Ukraine.”

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At around 10 p.m. the regulation was published in the Journal of Laws.


Waldemar Buda comments

The regulation will enter into force on Saturday, September 16. “Due to the incorrect decision of the EC not to extend the grain embargo with the AU, in accordance with the instructions of @MorawieckiM and the entire Council of Ministers, I signed a national regulation maintaining the embargo,” wrote the Minister of Development, Waldemar Buda, on X (formerly Twitter).

“The regulation is indefinite and will enter into force after publication at midnight on September 16, 2023. Polish Farmer above all!” – added the head of the Ministry of Energy and Technology.

They had previously decided to take a similar step Hungarians. The government in Budapest has unilaterally extended the ban on imports of food products from Ukraine. The decree lists 24 categories of agricultural products, the so-called sensitive products originating from Ukraine, including various types of cereals and meat.

Minister of Agriculture Slovakia Jan Biresz also announced on Friday in a statement for Marquis TV that the government in Bratislava will unilaterally extend the ban on imports of Ukrainian grain.

“Extending the import ban is necessary”

According to the Ministry of Development, “introducing a ban on the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Poland in the current market situation is justified and aims to maintain Poland’s food security and public safety.”

“The extension of the ban on imports of certain products from Ukraine to Poland is necessary because the possible restoration of imports after September 15, 2023 will result in a return to the situation before the introduction of the import ban in the form of destabilization of the market in Poland. There is a real threat that Polish farmers, due to the huge the inflow of cheaper above-mentioned products from Ukraine, they will abandon the cultivation of cereals and rapeseed, which in the near future will threaten Poland’s food security and make our country dependent on the import of basic agricultural products,” we read in the justification for the project.

Attention was drawn to “cereal prices falling to very low levels on international markets, including in Poland.”

“Currently, grain prices are 6 to 16 percent lower than the prices from two years ago (i.e. before the outbreak of the war), when the costs of agricultural production inputs (fertilizers, plant protection products, fuel, labor costs) were significantly lower than currently. Rapeseed is almost 6% cheaper compared to the prices from 2 years ago. This situation may lead to the bankruptcy of cereal and oilseed producers in the country,” said the ministry.

Decision of the European Commission

European Commission announced on Friday that it will temporarily ban the import of Ukrainian grain Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia will not be extended. The restriction expires on Friday.

The Commission said in a statement that Ukraine agreed to introduce all legal measures within 30 days, including an export licensing system, to avoid sudden increases in grain prices.


Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Poland would extend the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain despite the lack of consent from the European Commission.

Main photo source: Mateusz Marek/PAP

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