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EU to investigate plywood imports from Turkey over potential evasion of measures against Russia

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The European Commission has initiated an investigation into the import of birch plywood from Turkey and Kazakhstan, suspecting that these imports might be circumventing anti-dumping measures imposed on Russian plywood, according to the Official Journal of the European Union published on Tuesday.

The move comes after the Woodstock Consortium, a key industry player, requested the investigation amid concerns over the origin and intentions behind these imports.

The investigation, which commenced on Monday, specifically targets birch plywood imports without clear confirmation of the country of origin. The European Commission suspects that the imports from Turkey and Kazakhstan might be utilized to bypass restrictions that were put in place against imports of birch plywood from Russia.

The European Union had previously imposed a comprehensive ban on the majority of Russian forest products, including plywood, in July 2022. Additionally, in 2021, the EU had imposed antidumping duties on birch plywood imports from Russia, ranging from 14.4 percent to 15.72 percent depending on the producer. Despite these measures, Russia remained a significant supplier of birch plywood to the EU until the import ban took effect.

With the imposition of sanctions, Russian plywood producers have redirected their exports to various regions, such as Asia, Africa and Latin America. This shift in trade patterns has raised concerns about the redirection of these exports through Turkey and Kazakhstan to ultimately reach the European market.

The investigation is being conducted under Commission Implementing Regulation 2023/1649, published Tuesday in the Official Journal. This regulation was enacted based on a request from the Woodstock Consortium, a collective representing the interests of the industry players.

The investigation aims to establish whether the imports of birch plywood consigned from Turkey and Kazakhstan are indeed circumventing the existing anti-dumping measures against Russian plywood imports. If found to be true, the EU may levy appropriate anti-dumping duties on these imports to maintain a level playing field for domestic and international producers.

This comprehensive investigation will encompass multiple stages, including data collection, consultations with relevant parties and analysis of evidence. Interested parties have been urged to participate by submitting relevant information and data to aid in the investigation process.

Furthermore, the authorities of Turkey, Kazakhstan and Russia will be notified about the initiation of the investigation, which is expected to be concluded within a span of nine months from the commencement date.

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