Ukraine clothing manufacturers exporting to the European Union (EU) could benefit from the planned scrapping of import duties charged on products traded between them.

With the Ukraine government on Friday (21 March) signing a political agreement cementing closer links with the EU, the European Commission has released details of proposals to remove tariffs on goods traded between the EU and Ukraine.

It is expected that EU duties on Ukraine exports will be scrapped first, once agreement is secured from both the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers.

Ukraine clothing manufacturers currently pay a 12% duty on most ready-to-wear products from woven fabrics when selling to the EU, with 10.5% charged on babywear, 6.5% on bras, 8% on shawls and scarves and 6.5% on ties. The EU also levies 12% tariffs on most knitwear made in Ukraine, with 8.9% on gloves and 8% on knitted shawls.

A European Commission note said: "This unilateral measure will allow Ukrainian exporters to benefit from preferential access to the EU market...Ukraine will not have to provide extra access to EU exports in return."

The remainder of the planned EU-Ukraine association agreement is likely to be signed and approved following planned Ukraine presidential elections in May.

This would include the removal of Ukraine duties on EU exports - which have also been detailed in Commission documents largely mirror the EU duties, with 12% being levied on most ready-to-wear products.