European Commission discloses findings of anti-circumvention investigation - confirms illegal imports of Russian wood products via Kazakhstan and Türkiye

Other news 5.3.2024 15:27 EET

The European Commission has disclosed the findings of its anti-circumvention investigation into illegal imports of Russian birch plywood. The findings disclosed to relevant stakeholders show evidence that Russian birch plywood is being imported into the EU market through Kazakhstan and Türkiye to avoid paying anti-dumping duties. As Russian wood products are also subject to sanctions in the EU, the results of this investigation are expected to lead to further action by national authorities and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Following an in-depth investigation, which included on-site visits in Kazakhstan and Türkiye, the European Commission has found evidence of circumvention which requires the extension of anti-dumping duties to all imports from these countries to correct market distortions and unfair trade practices. Once the investigation process is complete, the anti-dumping duties, as high as 15.8%, will be applied retroactively on all imports of birch plywood into the EU from 22 August 2023 and for all future imports from Kazakhstan and Türkiye.

The results of the Commission's investigation are an important milestone in exposing the deceptive practices of some actors in the timber trade.

With the spotlight on Russian birch plywood, channelled through Kazakhstan and Türkiye, it is likely that controls and inspections will increase, as the Commission's findings suggest the possibility of customs fraud and sanctions violations by individual operators, including importers, traders, and users. There are separate legal and, in some countries, criminal provisions governing customs fraud and sanctions violations, with serious consequences and liabilities for those found to be involved.

Read more on this topic on the websites of the Woodstock Consortium.