President signs law on Ukraine's accession to PEM Convention
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed the law on Ukraine's accession to the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin (PEM Convention), the presidential press service reported on Thursday, November 30.
According to the report, accession to the PEM Convention will help simplify the terms of trade and increase the use of Ukraine's export potential, as well as strengthen trade ties and economic integration with the European Union.
The report notes that the possibility of Ukraine's accession to the PEM Convention is stipulated in the provisions of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. The process of the country's accession to the convention was launched in 2016.
The press service reported that today the participants in the convention are 24 contracting parties, six of which already have free trade agreements with Ukraine (the EU, EFTA, Montenegro, Macedonia, Moldova, and Georgia). Talks on free trade are underway with two more parties to the convention, namely with Turkey and Israel.
"The next step on fully taking advantage of the convention is the introduction of amendments to the relevant existing free trade agreements in terms of replacing the protocols of rules of origin of goods," the report says.
As reported, on November 8, the Verkhovna Rada voted for a bill on Ukraine's accession to the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin.
According to the website of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the share of Ukrainian exports to the countries participating in the PEM Convention is 50% of the total figure, of which 40% falls on the EU countries.
"Ukraine's joining Pan-Euro-Med will diversify our exports both in terms of geography and in terms of the basket of goods - the volume of supplies to the EU markets will increase," First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Ukrainian Trade Representative Natalia Mykolska said.
Earlier, the ministry reported on the possible accession of Ukraine to the PEM Convention from January 1, 2018.
The Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin was adopted in 2012 on the initiative of the European Union. Now, in addition to the EU countries, the participants in the convention are the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), as well as Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, the Faroe Islands, and Moldova.