Businesses should prioritize sustainability as Ukraine continues its path to the EU common market
On November 1, we discussed Ukraine’s access to the EU’s common market with representatives of the Trade and Economic Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Nicola Sibona and Anne Bercio, and partner of First Chair Legal, Yuriy Repeta.
Over the past two years, significant changes in market approximation have taken place due to the ongoing European integration processes. In particular, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade abolished duties on Ukrainian exports to support the country’s economy, introduced a transport “visa-free regime,” the New Computerized Transit System (NCTS), the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, and further steps towards industrial “visa-free regime” are planned shortly. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has nevertheless given a positive impetus to the convergence of markets, their integration, and the transformation of citizens’ consciousness towards the European one.
As of today, Ukraine has fulfilled more than half of its obligations under the Association Agreement and 90% of the recommendations put forward by the EC, along with granting candidate status to Ukraine.
At the same time, the next steps are clear. The Priority Action Plan for Improving the Implementation of the EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement for 2023-2024 includes 29 measures that will allow the completion of existing projects and start work on Ukraine’s integration into the EU’s common market.
The role of business in this process is crucial. The feedback of entrepreneurs, as important stakeholders in the changes being implemented in connection with European integration, can help implement such changes as efficiently as possible. Business comments on the new regulation, the timing of the changes, and business readiness are key to a planned, effective, and comfortable adaptation to the changes.
An example of the lack of synergy in the implementation of changes is the recent changes to the legislation on the presentation of goods for customs inspection, which came into force on November 7, 2023. The business was not ready for the changes. Only a small number of companies have received the relevant simplifications that allow them to avoid presenting goods for inspection. This has critically increased the workload at the terminals and the time required to complete customs formalities.
That is why the participants discussed the upcoming changes to better prepare for them.
For example, negotiations on signing the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA Agreement) will begin in the coming months. In the first stage, the priority sectors of industrial products for the ACAA Agreement are low-voltage electrical equipment, electromagnetic compatibility of equipment, and machine safety. The conclusion of the Agreement will open up access for industrial products to the markets of Ukraine and the EU countries based on mutual recognition of the results of conformity assessment for such products. The signing of the Agreement will take place as soon as Ukraine is ready for changes, in particular after the resumption of state supervision (control) and state market surveillance measures suspended under CMU Resolution No. 303 of March 13, 2022.
Among the new opportunities, it is also worth noting that Ukraine has become the first country to be included in the special TC AdES LOTL list, which provides for the recognition of Ukrainian QESs as UESs (improved electronic signatures) in the EU. As of today, it is available in the beta testing mode of Diia.Signature-EU, which can be used to sign documents with EU residents.
The participants of the event agreed to discuss future changes in more detail on the EBA platform to be better prepared for such changes and ensure their implementation is planned and effective.
We sincerely thank our experts for the meeting and the participants’ activity.