European Commission launches investigation into illegal imports of Russian plywood that circumvent anti-dumping duties

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The European Commission (EC) has opened an investigation into the suspected circumvention of anti-dumping duties for birch plywood products produced in Russia that have entered the EU market.

The main objective of the investigation is to identify the companies involved in the potential infringements, as Latvia-based birch plywood manufacturer Latvijas Finieris reports.

In the course of the investigation, the EC intends to cooperate with the Woodstock Consortium, various associations and companies based in the EU, including Latvijas Finieris, which together with Paged Group were the initiators of the investigation and are members of the Woodstock Consortium.

In 2021, anti-dumping duties were imposed on birch plywood products produced in Russia to protect EU producers against unfair trade practices.

In 2022, in the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission imposed sanctions against Russia, preventing various product groups produced in Russia, including birch plywood, from being traded in the EU.  

However, there are grounds to suspect that the anti-dumping duties and sanctions are circumvented through trade routes via Kazakhstan and Turkey, according to the company.

Following the imposition of sanctions, there has been a significant increase in imports of birch plywood from Russia into Turkey and, at the same time, the volumes of birch plywood imported from Turkey into the EU have increased.

Additionally, available export data on transactions between Kazakhstan and the EU show an increase in the volumes of birch plywood exported from Kazakhstan to the EU. At the same time, neither Kazakhstan nor Turkey have ever been significant producers of birch plywood.

“We have confidence in the European Commission’s ability to carry out a qualitative investigation that will be based on data and facts,” said Mārtiņš Lācis, member of the Executive Board of Latvijas Finieris. 

“We hope that all parties involved will actively cooperate with the European Commission and we also encourage consumers to be vigilant and report suspicious transactions to the European Commission or to us, Latvijas Finieris, in order to jointly ensure fair market competition conditions and we believe that this investigation will attract the attention of other responsible institutions for possible sanctions violations.”

For more information about the investigation, read more on the EC’s website.