The Negotiation process on a new ambitious agreement between Ukraine and the EU in replacement the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement were launched in March 2007 (in 2008 the parties agreed on the name of the future agreement - the Association Agreement). The final Twenty-first round of negotiations on the Association Agreement took place on 11 November 2011 in Brussels, during which all provisions of the text of the Agreement were agreed.
During the Fifteenth Ukraine-EU Summit (Kyiv, December 19, 2011), the leaders of Ukraine and the EU officially announced about finalization of the negotiations on the Association Agreement. On March 30, 2012, the chairs of the negotiating delegations initialed the Agreement in Brussels.
The signing ceremony of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU took place in two stages.
On March 21, 2014, during the extraordinary Ukraine-EU Summit, the political part of the Agreement and the Final Act of the Summit were signed.
In particular, the Preamble, Article 1, Title I "General Principles", II "Political Dialogue and Reforms, Political Association, Cooperation and Convergence in Foreign and Security Policy" and VII "Institutional, General and Final Provisions" of the Agreement were signed. The Summit also stated that Ukraine’s commitment to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 1998 in line with the Article 8 of the Association Agreement after introducing relevant amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine.
On June 27, 2014, during the EU Council meeting the President of Ukraine and the EU leadership and the Heads of State and Government of theEU 28 Member States signed the economic part of the Agreement: Title III "Justice, Freedom and Security", IV “Trade and trade-related matters”, V “Economic and sector cooperation” and VI “Financial cooperation and anti-fraud provisions”.
On September 16, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the European Parliament simultaneously ratified the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
The Ukrainian side handed over the instruments of ratification to the depositary and thus completed all domestic procedures.
On September 1, 2017, the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU entered into force in full scope after a long ratification process by all Member States. That was after the ratification by all parties, the first day of the second month following the date of deposit with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union of the last instrument of ratification or approval.
Due to the unlimited term of the Agreement, it was envisaged to undertake a comprehensive review of the achievement of objectives under the Agreement within five years. Given that the DCFTA applies from 1 January 2016, the five-year period expires on 1 January 2021.
Following the 22nd Ukraine-EU summit, held on 6 Octobre 2020 in Brussels, the both sides agreed to proceed in 2021 with the comprehensive review of the achievement of the Agreement's objectives, as the Agreement stipulates.
The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) is an important part of the Association Agreement (AA) between Ukraine and the EU, one of EU's the most ambitious bilateral agreements. DCFTA provides for significant liberalization of the bilateral trade, elimination of tariffs and quotas, and harmonization of legislative and regulatory framework.
Key elements of the DCFTA include:
mutual abolition of import duties on most goods imported into each other's markets;
introduction of rules of origin of goods, which is one of the elements of the application of trade preferences;
bringing Ukraine's technical regulations, procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and food safety measures in line with the EU rules, so that Ukrainian industrial goods, agricultural and food products will not require additional certification in the EU;
establishment of the most favorable conditions of access to the services markets of both Ukraine and the EU;
introduction of EU rules in the field of public procurement by Ukraine, which will allow gradual opening the EU public procurement market for Ukrainian business;
simplification of customs procedures and prevention of fraud, smuggling and other offenses in cross-border movement of goods;
strengthening protection of intellectual property rights in Ukraine.
From January 1, 2016, Ukraine and the EU applied the Title IV of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU (DCFTA) provisionally.
On September 1, 2017, the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU entered into force in full.
On October 1, 2017, new autonomous trade preferences were granted to Ukraine by the EU for a number of Ukrainian agricultural goods, which will be valid for 3 years. From January 1, 2018, additional trade preferences for wheat, corn and barley were introduced.
DCFTA is supervised by the Association Committee in Trade Configuration and its 4 subcommittees:
Trade and sustainable development
Sanitary and phytosanitary management
Customs and trade facilitation
The establishment of the DCFTA between Ukraine and the EU will take place gradually over 10 years. The implementation of the DCFTA will result in close economic integration, creation of virtually the same conditions for trade between Ukraine and the EU as intra-Union trade, improved investment climate and transparent rules for doing business in Ukraine, increased choice, security and quality of goods, lower prices for Ukrainian consumers, and improved access for Ukrainian companies not only to the EU market, but also to third country markets.
Activities of the Association Committee in Trade Configuration and its subcommittees at the website of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine: https://bit.ly/3fgh4xH.