European Commission proposes to prolong transport deal with Ukraine, introduces updates

The European Commission put forward a proposal to extend the road transport agreement with Ukraine, with some updates.
This is said in a press release published on the website of the European Commission, according to Ukrinform.

The proposals, sent to the European Council, include updates to the agreement with Ukraine “to improve its practical implementation and enforcement while maintaining its objectives and scope”.
The European Commission noted that with traditional transport routes in the region disrupted or closed due to Russian’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the unavailability of the Black Sea as traditional trade route for the two countries, the prolongation until at least the end of 2025 will help secure supply chains.

“On the basis of exchanges with Member States, Ukraine and stakeholders, the Commission has taken into account lessons learned from the implementation of the current EU–Ukraine transport agreement. While the scope of the agreement will remain the same, the Commission proposes updates to facilitate its implementation and enforcement by the Member States,” the press release says.
In particular, the proposal would:

make obligatory the carrying of documents showing that a transport operator is duly authorised to perform international carriage, and that the transport is being carried out under the Agreement;
make obligatory the carrying of specific documents certifying that an unladen operation is directly linked to a transit or bilateral operation, as required under the Agreement;
strengthen compliance by road haulage operators with obligations relating to operations authorised under the Agreement, fighting fraud or forgery of driver documents and road safety-related traffic offences: such offences may lead to the withdrawal of the licence;
add a new safeguard clause: in case the national road transport market in a specific geographical area sees a major disturbance that can be attributed to the Agreement, the agreement could be suspended in that geographical area.
The European Commission believes that these measures will reinforce implementation of the agreement, without compromising the mutual benefits. “The agreement has been very positive for both the EU and Ukraine, allowing a strong increase of their exports to each other’s markets. The Agreement with Ukraine, as well as the one with Moldova, has also been essential in supporting the Solidarity Lanes,” the document says.

According to the European Commission, Ukrainian exports by road to the EU have significantly increased since the entry into force of the Agreement, by about two thirds in terms of volume transported, and by about one third in terms of value. In absolute terms, more than 300,000 additional tons of goods were exported to the EU every month following the Agreement.

At the same time, Ukrainian imports from the EU have increased by a similar amount in volume, namely by around 300,000 tons per month. However, Ukrainian imports by value have risen almost three times faster than Ukrainian exports, with an increase of more than €700 million per month for Ukrainian imports compared to €250 million for exports.

The proposals are now with the Council, which needs to give the Commission a mandate to negotiate with Ukraine and Moldova. Once the Council has given the Commission these mandates, the Commission will formally engage with the partner countries for their agreement.

As reported, the initial agreement was signed in June 2022 and later extended until the end of June 2024. A similar agreement was also signed with Moldova. These agreements grant bilateral transportation rights to Ukrainian, Moldovan, and European carriers on each other’s territory.

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