Towards EU-Ukraine FTA: harmonisation of Ukrainian technical regulations

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Nicholas Burge, Head of Trade and Economic Section at the EU Delegation to Ukraine

On May 21 the EU-funded Project aiming at removing technical barriers in EU-Ukraine trade*, together with Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade held a conference dedicated to the harmonisation of Ukrainian technical regulations with those of the EU.

Speaking about the benefits of the upcoming EU-Ukraine Association Agreement including its provisions on establishing the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA), Nicholas Burge, Head of Trade and Economic Section at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, noted: “The DCFTA is the most ambitious bilateral agreement that the EU has ever negotiated with a trading partner. It will lead to better regulation across all economic sectors, as well as safer products and improved services for citizens.

Valeriy Piatnytskyi, the State Commissioner for European integration at Ukraine’s Ministry for Economic Development and Trade, agreed with his EU colleague by stressing that “signature of the Association Agreement with the EU and the establishment of the DCFTA is a real rapprochement, which will give possibilities for Ukrainian businesses to work with the EU Single Market.

Valeriy Piatnytskyi, the State Commissioner for European integration at Ukraine’s Ministry for Economic Development and Trade
Valeriy Piatnytskyi, the State Commissioner for European integration at Ukraine’s Ministry for Economic Development and Trade

In order to abolish the technical barriers between the EU and Ukraine, the two sides launched an EU-funded Sector Policy Support Programme “Promoting mutual trade by removing technical barriers to trade between Ukraine and the European Union.” According to Evangelos Vardakas, former Director for Enterprise and Industry at the European Commission, the EU earmarked €39 million to be transferred into Ukrainian state budget within the Programme, €12 million transferred in advance to the Ukraine state budget.

Elaborating on Ukrainian future steps aimed at reforming its technical regulations, Leonid Vitkin, Chief Consultant of the Presidential Administration, underlined: “We need to consolidate and accelerate reforming the legislation and quality infrastructure institutions, so that our industry and people can obtain all possible benefits from increased cross-border trade and improvement of the investment climate in Ukraine.

Volodymyr Vakulych, Head of Division in the Department for Technical Regulation in the Ministry for Economic development and Trade, explained: “Reforming the Ukrainian system for technical regulation will facilitate the signature of the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products, which will form an integral part of the DCFTA, which, in its turn, will be a part of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.”

Background:

The EU supports the removal of technical barriers to trade with Ukraine through several co-operation programmes and projects, including the €45 million Sector Policy Support Programme, which runs from 2009-2013 with a possible one year extension. Within a Sector Policy Programme, the EU and Ukraine agree on a set of concrete goals, based on the country’s Strategy in a particular sector. Taking into account the opinion of civil society, the EU and Ukrainian partners review if the goals were met. If they are achieved and the over­all system of public finances is improving, the EU disburses the agreed amount to the State Budget, to further contribute to the country’s reforms.

For more information on the EU-funded Sector Policy Support Programme “Promoting mutual trade by removing technical barriers to trade between Ukraine and the European Union”:

http://no-trade-barriers.com/

*“Complementary measures to the Sector Policy Support Programme “Promoting Mutual Trade by Removing Technical Barriers to Trade between Ukraine and the European Union”