Hungary limits the export of cereals

Cereal prices are rising due to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. The Hungarian government reacted with a drastic measure.

Wheat field in sunshine
Beeld: ©PicJumbo

Last Friday, news in the Hungarian press started to circulate about the Hungarian Government planning to ban the export of all cereal and some industrial crops  from the country. Whilst not instituting a blanket ban, the 83/2022. (III. 5.) Governmental Decree, which was published on Saturday , March 5, regulates “the registration obligation and related administrative duties of the export of strategically important agricultural products that are critical to the supply of food and animal feed and food security.”

In short, this new regulation establishes an obligation for individuals and businesses looking to sell Hungarian cereals abroad to register intended export shipments through an official notification sent to the National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH).

The decree also creates a right of first refusal (right to purchase first) at market price for the government for any such export shipment of cereal. The two exceptions to this regulation are cargo that is a part of a humanitarian relief efforts and cargo that is in transit through the country.

This will apply to the export of wheat grain, rye, barley, oats, maize, soya beans and sunflower seeds.

The individual or company that wishes to export cereal from Hungary needs to fill out a specific form and submit it to the National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH) which is then forwarded to the Ministry of Agriculture and ultimately, it is the competence of the Minister to decide whether to exercise the government’s right of purchase.

The individual or company that submitted the notification for export can proceed with their business if the ministry notifies them that the government would not exercise its right of first refusal in their case or if they do not get a reply within thirty days.

According to the annex of the decree, the product categories that fall under the new regulation are the following:

  • HS 1001 Wheat and meslin
  • HS 1002 Rye
  • HS 1003 Barley
  • HS 1004 Oats
  • HS 1005 Maize (corn)
  • HS 1201 Soya beans, whether or not broken
  • HS 120600 Oil seeds; sunflower seeds, whether or not broken

The original text of the governmental decree can be found in the latest edition of the Hungarian Gazette here.

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