Food & agriculture /

Polish Embargo on Ukrainian Agricultural Products

Updated: 15.04.2023

Ban on Import of Ukrainian Food Products

Today, i.e. 15.04.2023, the Polish Minister of Development and Technology signed a regulation on the ban on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine.

The ban on import come into force with immediate effect – i.e from Saturday, 15.04.2023, and are to apply until June 30, 2023. In addition the regulation has retrospective effect as it states: “The regulation enters into force on the day of its announcement, with effect from 6 April 2023.

List of products covered by ban on import from Ukraine

The list of products prohibited from import from Ukraine to Poland includes:

  • grains
  • sugar
  • dried fodder
  • seeds
  • hop
  • linen and hemp
  • fruits and vegetables
  • processed fruit and vegetable products
  • winę
  • beef and veal
  • milk and dairy products
  • pork
  • mutton and goat
  • eggs
  • poultry meat
  • ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin
  • bee products

Import ban on grains, sugar, fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry

The embargo includes products that were imported lately in significant amounts and, as the government states, which distorted competition on local Polish market. Import ban may be very painful for companies from the following markets: grains, sugar, fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry.

Legality of embargo / ban on import from Ukraine to Poland

There are significant doubts as to legality of the embargo and in particular compliance with EU laws.

In January 2023 the Ministry of Agriculture stated that “introduction of such a ban is not possible due to the applicable international agreements both between the European Union and Ukraine, as well as the rules of the World Trade Organization. In the current situation, one of the important actions is to intensify the export of agricultural products outside Poland, both to EU countries characterized by their deficit, and to third countries dependent on imports”

Recently Ministry of of Development and Technology states that “EU legislation allows Member States to apply prohibitions, restrictions or surveillance measures justified on grounds of public morality, public policy or public security, the protection of human, animal or plant health and life, the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value, or the protection industrial and commercial property”. 

What about contracts and imports in progress?

Embargo on import of Ukrainian agricultural products does not provide any interim provision, or provision that would be applicable to already concluded contracts or transports in progress. In practice it means that embargo is applicable to all existing and future contracts and transports.

Contractual position of the buyer or seller shall be evaluated individually based on binding contract / order. Depending on chosen law and jurisdiction in certain circumstances parties potentially consider the following options:

  • invoke to force majeure,
  • rescind the contract and request return of consideration paid (advances),
  • suspend payment.

Claims against Polish state?

There are number of ways to pursue the claims against Polish State for introducing illegal embargo. Situation of each claimant shall be considered individually by our litigation experts.

FAQ – Ban on Import from Ukraine to Poland

When the ban on import of Ukrainian food products to Poland was introduced?

It was introduced on 15.04.2023.

What food products are covered by the ban on import of Ukrainian food products to Poland?

The following products from Ukraine are covered by the ban of import to Poland: grains, sugar, dried fodder, seeds, hop, linen and hemp, fruits and vegetables, processed fruit and vegetable products, wine, beef and veal, milk and dairy products, pork, mutton and goat, eggs, poultry meat, ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, bee products

Author team leader DKP Legal Michał Dudkowiak
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