The European Union (EU) Council has approved the introduction of tariffs on grain and oilseeds from Russia and Belarus, World Grain reported.

Approved on 30 May, the new regulation would be effective from 1 July following publication in the EU’s official journal, the report said.

The tariffs would cover imports of cereals, oilseeds and derived products as well as beet-pulp pellets and dried peas from Russia and Belarus, which currently incurred no or low tariffs, World Grain wrote on 30 May.

In addition, the listed goods would be barred from access to the EU’s tariff rate quotas.

The regulation would increase duties to a point that would effectively halt imports of the listed products, the Council was quoted as saying.

Applied to products originating in or exported directly or indirectly from the Russian Federation or Belarus to the EU, the measures would not affect transit through the EU from both countries to other third countries.

“The new tariffs … aim to stop the imports of grain from Russia and Belarus into the EU in practice,” Belgian minister for finance Vincent Van Peteghem was quoted as saying.

“These measures will … prevent the destabilisation of the EU’s grain market, halt Russian exports of illegally appropriated grain produced in the territories of Ukraine and prevent Russia from using revenues from exports to the EU to fund its war of aggression against Ukraine. This is yet another way in which the EU is showing steady support to Ukraine.”

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, EU imports of grain products from Russia had significantly increased, the report said.

Although Russia remained a relatively small supplier of the listed products to the EU market, it is a leading global producer and exporter of those products.

Due to the current global volume of Russian exports, the country could redirect significant volumes of supplies of those products to the EU, causing a sudden inflow from its large existing stocks and potentially disrupting the EU market, the Council said.

The world’s leading wheat exporter, Russia is projected to ship a record 53M tonnes in the current marketing year, giving it a global market share of 26%, the highest in its history, according to the latest International Grains Council (IGC) Grain Market Report.

The figure was well ahead of the second largest exporter in 2023/24, the EU, which was forecast to ship 35M tonnes.