Business news from Ukraine

Head of Polish Grain Chamber has spoken in favor of maintaining blockade on imports of Ukrainian grain, but in favor of allowing transit

It is advisable for Poland to maintain the blockade on Ukrainian grain imports, but transit should be allowed when transshipment capacities are free in Polish ports, President of the Grain and Feed Chamber of Poland Monika Pątkowska said in an interview with

“Today it would be better if the blockade of grain imports is maintained, and when it comes to transit, we could implement it to some extent and thus help Ukraine when we have free handling capacities in Polish ports,” she said.

Pętkowska noted that Polish ports were not 100% loaded in the first quarter of 2024.

“We have to conclude that our port infrastructure, but also the railroad infrastructure is inefficient. Now is the right time to expand it. I believe that we slept through the last two years in this context. Romania has received funds from the European Union and is expanding its infrastructure, while Poland has not done it so far,” the public figure emphasized.

She is sure that Poland should show both Ukraine and the international community that it wants to help effectively but, on the other hand, firmly protects the interests of the Polish farmer. These two goals, in her opinion, should be combined.

“The sooner we come to a mutual understanding, the sooner we develop mechanisms, the less complicated will be the atmosphere that may hinder our broader cooperation not only with Ukraine, but also in the European arena,” summarized the president of the Polish Grain Chamber.

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Number of completed movements from Ukraine under general transit procedure increased 13 times in first quarter

The number of completed movements from Ukraine under the general transit procedure (NCTS) in the first quarter of this year amounted to 19 thousand, which is 13 times more than in the same period last year, the State Customs Service of Ukraine reported on Monday.

“Despite the hostilities and the difficult situation on the western border of Ukraine, the first quarter of 2024 was the most productive by all accounts compared to previous quarters since the start of the application of the common transit procedure (NCTS) in Ukraine, that is, from October 1, 2022,” the agency said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

It is specified that during January-March 2024, a third of the total number of transit declarations under the NCTS was issued – 23.5 thousand out of more than 65 thousand. In particular, in the countries participating in the NCTS Convention, more than 19 thousand movements initiated by the customs authorities of Ukraine were successfully completed, while in Ukraine – almost 4.5 thousand movements initiated in other countries participating in the Convention.

The customs office emphasized that compared to the same period last year, i.e. the first quarter of 2023, the rate of successfully completed movements started in Ukraine increased 13 times, and movements started in other countries party to the Convention – 9 times.

Also, in January-March 2024, the number of companies that received and use authorizations for the application of transit simplifications in accordance with the Convention almost doubled from 57 to 101.

It is specified that they have been granted 121 authorizations (out of 303 during the period of application of the Convention by Ukraine), 39 of which were granted to use the general guarantee (including an increase in the reference amount), 27 each with the status of authorized shipper and consignee, and 22 to use special type seals.

Regarding the guarantee of the joint transit procedure, the State Customs Service notes a significant increase in the number of registered individual guarantees in the first quarter of 2024.

“In this quarter alone, almost 3 thousand individual guarantees worth more than EUR 95 million were registered. At the same time, since Ukraine joined the Convention on the Common Transit Procedure, at the end of the quarter, almost 5.5 thousand valid (including used) individual guarantees totaling EUR 274 million were available in the NCTS system,” the service added.

In addition, during this period, 21 general guarantees worth EUR 38 million were registered. Since the start of the NCTS system, only 74 general guarantees have been registered, 50 of which are currently valid for EUR 167 million.

Earlier, roundtables were devoted to customs reform, where the event’s organizer and moderator Maksim Urakin stated that the State Customs Service accounts for 35-40% of state budget revenues, and these figures have remained stable in recent years. That is why customs reforms are so important for the country.m

Ukrainian and Polish agrarian associations will continue negotiations on transit of agricultural products and unblocking border

Ukrainian and Polish agrarian associations will continue negotiations this week on the transit of grain and other products and the unblocking of the border, said Taras Vysotskyi, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, during a national telethon.

“It is very important that the associations of different sectors have established communication and will continue to meet this week to clearly agree on the parameters (of export and transit of Ukrainian agricultural products – IF-U). Everyone realized (at the Ukrainian-Polish meeting in Poland last week – IF-U) that interaction and cooperation, agreements will ultimately have the best result,” he said.

According to Vysotsky, in the first two weeks of April, a meeting of the Polish and Ukrainian sides is planned in an expanded format, where farmers of the two countries will look for ways to cooperate. It is expected that this could also become the basis for agreements at the interstate level. Agrarian associations will work on each industry whose representatives were at the talks, including raspberries, juice, honey, eggs, grain, and poultry.

“There is a cautious optimism in this regard, which gives us hope that after a few more meetings to fix the final parameters, we will finally be able to solve this problem,” Vysotsky emphasized.

He also added that the issue of transit of Ukrainian grain is raised at all international meetings.

“Ukraine insists that transit should be available without stops and blockages,” the First Deputy Minister summarized.

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Kolobrzeg port increased transshipment of Ukrainian grain by 52%

In July-September this year, the cargo turnover of the port of Kolobrzeg increased by 52% due to the resumption of transshipment of Ukrainian agricultural products, the Polish edition of Rynek Infrastruktury reports.
According to the report, Kolobrzeg was not previously included in the Polish government’s resolution on the transit of Ukrainian grain. In the third quarter, the port resumed accepting Ukrainian agricultural products, which helped increase cargo turnover.
In the third quarter, the Polish port handled more than 73 thousand tons of cargo, which is 52% more than in the same period of 2022, when 48 thousand tons were handled. The cargo included grain, logs, limestone, pellets and fertilizers. Grain accounts for half of the transshipment. Among the grains transshipped in Kolobrzeg, corn and barley were the most common.
The port temporarily suspended operations in April this year. Back then, the Polish authorities banned imports of Ukrainian grain but allowed its transit. At first, Kolobrzeg was not on the list of ports that could handle Ukrainian grain, but later the Polish government allowed the company to handle Ukrainian cargo.
“We have demonstrated that we are unpredictable in our actions as a country, so building long-term business relations is perceived as risky, as one decree can turn everything upside down”, said Artur Lievski, head of the port’s administration.
A week after the ban was imposed by the Polish government, the mistake was corrected: Kolobrzeg was included in the list of seaports through which grain can be transited from Ukraine. However, it took a long time to restore trust, and for some time no freight trains with Ukrainian products arrived in Kolobrzeg. After a three-month break, the first train with corn from Ukraine arrived at the seaport of Kolobrzeg in late July, the newspaper said.

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Lithuania simplifies transit of Ukrainian grain to Baltic ports

Lithuania has agreed on a corridor for the transit of Ukrainian grain to Baltic ports, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said.

“Russia destroys food, Lithuania delivers it. A corridor for grain transit to Baltic ports has been approved and agreed upon, which eases pressure on the Ukrainian border and increases supplies to Africa and beyond. Cooperation gives results!” he wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, it was reported that veterinary, sanitary and phytosanitary control would be moved from the Ukrainian-Polish border to the port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) for all agricultural cargoes heading to this port within two days. This will speed up transit through Poland.

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Moldova seeks options to help with transit of Ukrainian grain

Moldova has been offering assistance with the transit of Ukrainian grain since the beginning of the war, and now it is trying to find a solution that will suit Moldovan farmers and help Kiev, Moldovan President Maia Sandu has said.
Speaking about the situation with Ukrainian grain, Sandu called it a “complicated topic.”
“We are trying to find a solution. There are discussions with Ukraine, Romania and the European Commission to see how we can harmonize the interests of Moldovan farmers, but also ensure this transit of grain from Ukraine. We have an obligation to help Ukraine, which today provides for our peace,” she told RFI.
According to her information, Moldova will try to find the best solution for both sides. One of them is rapid investment in transportation and port infrastructure to increase capacity for this period.
“We want to increase our exports, we want to develop our infrastructure, and we can do it, in particular with the resources of the European Union,” she explained.
Sandu spoke about the problem of farmers in Moldova who, even before the war in Ukraine, did not have enough capacity to export.
“We have to state that the railroad and port infrastructure in Moldova is underdeveloped. Now, when these large volumes are coming from Ukraine, the situation has become more complicated,” Sandu said.
As reported, Moldova intends to modernize the railway infrastructure and railway bed in order to increase exports of Ukrainian agricultural goods, for which it cooperates with Romania, Ukraine and donor organizations.

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