A visa-free regime for Ukrainian industry”: Ivan Us, expert of the National Institute for Strategic Research, gives a commentary in the program “Head to Head” on the UATV channel

According to a free trade agreement with the EU, Ukraine should make a lot of changes in a public sector of technical regulations, in order to export to the European Union not only raw materials, but also high value-added products. According to statistical data, 25% of Ukrainian export consists of agricultural products, 22% are metal production – in other words, almost half of our distribution to the EU consists of raw materials or products without serious processing. Machine industry export is approximately 14% of the whole export.

The part of a free-trade agreement with the EU was a negotiation for increasing machinery industry export. In order to achieve this result, according to financial expert Taras Kachka, it is necessary to achieve "a visa-free regime for Ukrainian industry with the EU”. In a legal sense, that means accession of Ukraine to the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA). That would give domestic exporters an opportunity to label their production with CE marking and sell it freely on the EU market without additional certification.

In accordance with a time-schedule, established by the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement, initially suchlike agreement should be signed for 3 fields of industry, and subsequently include 27 fields of industry. Also, in the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement the possibility is pointed out for other fields of Ukrainian industry to fall under provisions of the ACAA. Products provided by those fields of industry can be exported to the EU without additional technical checking from the European side. That would save the costs that would otherwise have been spent for those checking. How should this “free-visa” regime for Ukrainian machinery export influence domestic market? This step towards implementation of European norms on domestic market is problematic, while it presupposes its reforming.

From the other hand, European standards are acknowledged in the whole world due to their high quality. Should they cause the division of Ukrainian industry on high quality products, aimed for European market, and on products of questionable quality, aimed for distribution on domestic market? The task for our market is to move on the same direction as European market, therefore low quality issue shouldn’t exist at all. If there will be demand for Ukrainian products in Ukraine, the quality problem will disappear. If we produce products for Ukrainian market, we spend less cost on logistical matters. All products that receive recognition from the European side can be exported all over the world. The best example is honey. When the European Union started purchase Ukrainian honey, it was recognized all over the world as a high-quality product, for instance, by the USA. Therefore, it is a priority for Ukraine to improve the structure of its export by increasing part of machinery products, while increasing their quality simultaneously.