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Hungary Managed to Maintain the Embargo on Ukrainian Grain Imports – the EU Retreat

To ensure consistency of the import ban, Hungary’s national regulations disallowing imports of Ukrainian agricultural products will remain in place.

Hungary has managed to keep its ban on Ukrainian grain imports uninterrupted as it replaced its unilateral embargo with common EU regulations, the country’s Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy said.
“We maintain the ban on Ukrainian grain imports. However, national restrictions have been replaced by an EU ban on its sales (in five Eastern European countries).
This is the result of joint actions by Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania , which forced Brussels to back down, Nagy noted.
The Hungarian minister reiterated that the temporary ban on imports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, sunflower and rapeseed to the five Eastern European countries came into effect on May 2, according to the decision of the European Commission.
Earlier, the five countries banned imports of these products at the national level.

National restrictions in place

“To ensure the consistency of the import ban, Hungarian national regulations that do not allow imports of Ukrainian agricultural products will remain in place for contracts signed before May 2, 2023,” he said.
He also pointed out that Hungary allows Ukrainian grain to pass through its territory.
However, the transportation should not take more than 15 days, while the relevant agencies will ensure that the cargo travels along the specified route and is received by the intended customer.
The cargo will be sealed when crossing the border and the transfer process will be entered into the electronic database.
“Competent state agencies will do everything possible to prevent any violation of traditions, Nagy warned.

On the brink of destruction

In April 2023, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia unilaterally decided to ban agricultural imports from Ukraine due to the overstocking of their markets, bringing domestic farmers to the brink of disaster. The countries plan to continue talks with the European Commission to further extend the ban, which will officially remain in place only until June 5.
According to Nagy, there have been verbal agreements to maintain the ban after that date, but Hungary is seeking written guarantees from decision-makers in Brussels.
Earlier this week, Poland said it would like to maintain the ban until at least 2024. In turn, Hungary is calling for “joint coordinated action” on this issue.

Source: bankingnews