The Commission launched the investigation in 2023 into the suspected circumvention because of concerns that had arisen about some Russian birch plywood exporters using third countries as transit to avoid the anti-dumping measures and sanctions on the import of wood products from Russia and Belarus.

A request for an investigation was lodged in July 2023 by the Woodstock Consortium, which is comprised of Paged-Pisz from Poland’s Paged Group and Latvian group Latvijas Finieris, supported by the main EU industry as well as leading companies such as Finnish company UPM Plywood.

Following extensive on-site inspections in Kazakhstan and Turkey, the European Commission itself unearthed “undeniable proof of circumvention”, now necessitating the extension of anti-dumping duties to all imports from these countries to rectify market imbalances. 

Furthermore, rigorous measures, possibly involving customs fraud and sanctions evasion, are now expected to be enforced in collaboration with national authorities and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

The present findings will now form the basis for a Regulation that will be effective immediately and will retroactively extend the anti-dumping duty to imports from Kazakhstan and Turkey, and then maintain them going forward. 

All imported plywood from these two countries now faces the same 15.8% duties as Russia, with arrears plus VAT to be collected with retroactive effect since August 2023.

The Woodstock Consortium welcomed the news.