National import bans for Ukrainian Grain & feedstuffs / FEFAC calling on EU Council Presidency and European Commission to safeguard the Single Market and the EU’s reliability as a trade partner

FEFAC, representing the EU compound feed & premix manufacturers, urges the EU Council Presidency and the European Commission to seek rapid and effective solutions to tackle the recent unilateral decisions adopted in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria which impose import restrictions on Ukrainian grain and oilseeds, as well as other feedstuffs imports.

Asbjørn Børsting, FEFAC President, stated that “current decisions taken at a national level are undermining the integrity of the Single Market and the reliability of the EU as a trading partner, which could lead to further market destabilization, in particular for feedstuffs for which there are no domestic alternative supplies”. 

He noted that “serious doubts remain about the practical feasibility of some of the proposed temporary bans and “in transit” arrangements, which could result in more market disturbances, just at a time when the EU feed sector needs more market stability, predictability, and legal certainty on the implementation of the EU Trade and Agricultural policy framework to maintain a level playing field for market operators”. 

He recalled that “the EU previously agreed to act with a single voice when tackling emerging feed and food security issues, a “hard lesson” learnt during the COVID pandemic and at the outbreak of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Joint EU action led to the strengthening of EU feed and food sector resilience through respective Single Market Defence and Trade policy mechanisms and tools including the EU Green Lanes and Solidarity Lanes, as well related EU financial measures such as State Aid provisions and the EU crisis management fund”.

FEFAC, therefore, calls on the EU Council Presidency and the EU Commission to act speedily, addressing concerns raised by EU border countries. The EU should consider using relevant CAP & trade instruments, without undermining the functioning of the Single Market and the EU’s trade policy. The EU needs to safeguard market access to essential supplies of feed grains and vegetable protein meals to the EU feed and livestock sector, in order to reduce market distortion and volatility resulting from the unilateral import restrictions.