AN AGREEMENT has been struck between the European Commission and Ukraine to close a loophole that gave a certain cut of chicken unlimited access to the European market.

The commission signed an agreement in principle with Ukraine to end the practice of exporting breast meat with a tip of the wing attached, which attracted no tariffs under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the two.

But as a concession, it was agreed that the amount of tariff-free chicken would increase from 20,000t to 70,000t.

Avec, the association representing poultrymeat processors in Europe, has long argued that the practice employed by Ukrainian businesses was unfair.
In early March it wrote to the commission to register opposition to funding offered to Ukrainian producer MHP.

In it, the organisation said it appreciated the “challenging geopolitical context,” but hoped concessions would be “as limited as possible”.
“We now hope that a mutually agreed solution will be found as soon as possible to put an end to the circumvention of the agreement by Ukrainian producers,” said the letter.

The new arrangement still needs to be approved by both the European Parliament, as well as Ukraine’s.