BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Union (EU) Council adopted prohibitive tariffs on grain products imported from Russia and Belarus, effective July 1 when the new regulation is published in the EU’s Official Journal.

The regulation approved May 30 increases import tariffs for cereals, oilseeds and derived products as well as beet-pulp pellets and dried peas from Russia and Belarus, for which importers presently pay no or low tariffs. In addition, those goods will be barred from access to the EU’s tariff rate quotas.

The regulation will increase duties to a point that will in practice halt imports of these products, the Council said. These measures concern products originating in or exported directly or indirectly from the Russian Federation or Belarus to the EU. They will not affect transit through the EU from both countries to other third countries.

“The new tariffs set today aim to stop the imports of grain from Russia and Belarus into the EU in practice,” said Vincent Van Peteghem, Belgian minister for finance. “These measures will therefore prevent the destabilization 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.”

The EU’s imports of grain products from Russia have significantly increased since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. While Russia remains a relatively small supplier of those products to the EU market, it is a leading global producer and exporter of those products.

Given its current volumes of exports to the world, Russia could reorient significant volumes of supplies of those products to the EU, causing a sudden inflow from its large existing stocks, thereby disrupting the EU market, the Council said.

Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, is projected to export a record 53 million 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 is well ahead of the second largest exporter in 2023-24, the EU, which is forecast to ship 35 million tonnes.