The European Union (EU) has imposed sanctions on the import of Russian-origin wood and wood products due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Additionally, earlier the EU has placed anti-dumping duties on Russian plywood. Despite the sanctions and duties, some companies are attempting to bypass them by trading through third-party countries and by trying to hide the origin of the wood. It is important to understand that intentionally or unintentionally buying or selling sanctioned Russian wood products can result in severe consequences.
First and foremost, companies that intentionally or unintentionally buy or sell sanctioned Russian wood products are violating EU laws and regulations. The EU takes a strong stance on sanctions violations and member countries have the power to impose hefty penalties on companies involved in such activities. The fines can range from a few thousand euros to millions of euros, depending on the severity of the violation. In addition to financial penalties, companies may face reputational damage and legal repercussions, such as the loss of licenses, permits, or contracts including imprisonment in some countries.
Moreover, companies that engage in trade with sanctioned Russian wood products risk damaging their relationships with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders. Many consumers are increasingly conscious of the ethical and environmental impact of the products they purchase and may avoid doing business with companies that are associated with illegal activities. Suppliers and stakeholders may also choose to sever ties with companies involved in illegal activities, which can result in lost business opportunities and revenue. UPM Plywood has a high focus on responsibility and commitment to compliance. We simply can’t co-operate with companies that consciously circumvent sanctions.
Furthermore, companies that bypass anti-dumping duties by trading through third-party countries are engaging in unfair trade practices. Anti-dumping duties are imposed to prevent the import of goods at unfairly low prices, which can harm domestic producers. By bypassing these duties, companies are effectively evading fair competition and undermining the EU's trade policy. Companies involved in such activities may face legal repercussions and financial penalties, in addition to the consequences of violating sanctions.
UPM Plywood promotes active enforcement, stopping illegal imports, and preventing unfair competition throughout the entire value chain.
Companies must be aware of the severe consequences of trading sanctioned Russian wood products, even if it happens unintentionally. It is in the best interest of companies to ensure that their supply chains are free from any illegal activities, comply with all relevant laws and regulations, and promote fair competition in the market.