Ukraine has finally been given permission to export poultry products to the European Union (EU), but it is only likely to send around 2% of its production to the Continent, experts say.
Ukraine’s State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service reported on 4 December that: “During the meeting of the Standing Committee on Nutrition and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) had a technical vote on the draft decision on the inclusion of Ukraine on the list of third countries eligible to import poultry products to the EU. During the voting, EU members voted for the inclusion of Ukraine. Thus, the Ukraine has received permission to export eggs, egg products, poultry and meat of wild birds to the EU market.”
Ukraine, whose major poultry market, Russia, is reducing imports of poultry due to increasing self-sufficiency, has been fighting for access to the EU for four years. However, experts said that that low quotas mean the country is unlikely to become a major exporter to the EU.
“Ukraine will only be able to export around 20,000 tonnes (t) of poultry meat to the European Union, in accordance with the quota. 20,000t is not a lot for Ukraine, which currently produces one million tons of poultry meat. In principle, 20,000t does not solve our problems, but it makes it possible to say that the poultry farms in Ukraine meet the European standards,” said Ukraine’s deputy minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Ivan Bisyuk.
“Exports of poultry meat will be possible after DG SANCO has inspected certain poultry farms and determined that they meet all kinds of veterinary standards.”
According to independent experts, Ukraine has the potential to increase export volumes by nearly 10 times, to 200,000t per year. However, head of the Union of Poultry Farmers of Ukraine Alexander Bakumenko pointed out that Ukraine is not an EU member, so will pay high tariff rates.
Bakumenko said it was likely the first shipments of poultry from Ukraine to the EU would be sent in April 2013. “It will take about three to four months of special technical procedures, and then we try to look at where and what we are going to sell,” said Bakumenko.