EU to impose tariffs on Ukrainian eggs in import curbs

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission will introduce tariffs on Ukrainian egg imports into the European Union within the next two weeks after a previously agreed annual threshold for those imports has been reached, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The EU has set limits for certain agricultural imports from Ukraine after free-trade access, granted to help the country's economy following Russia's invasion in 2022, angered farmers in the EU and contributed to a wave of rural protests this year.

The commission, the EU's executive arm, announced on Tuesday that it would introduce tariffs on oat imports from Ukraine after the volume ceiling for the cereal was reached.

In eggs, EU imports jumped by three-quarters last year and continued to rise at the start of this year, with Ukraine the leading supplier, EU data showed.

The European egg industry has complained that the influx of cheaper Ukrainian supplies has hampered a recovery in output from bird flu outbreaks in recent years that have ravaged poultry flocks.

Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry declined to comment on the planned tariffs on eggs. The Ukrainian union of egg producers was unavailable for immediate comment.

The EU's curbs on agricultural imports from Ukraine also cover poultry, sugar, groats, maize and honey.

Ukraine said in late May it would ban sugar exports to the EU for the remainder of this year as the volume limit had been reached, though EU data showed that nearly 44,000 metric tons remained available out of a total of about 263,000 tons.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Gus Trompiz, Sybille de La Hamaide and Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Gus Trompiz and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Leslie Adler)