EU claims victory in wood export ban dispute with Ukraine

EU claims victory in wood export ban dispute with Ukraine

Ukrinform
The European Union has claimed victory in the unprocessed wood export ban dispute with Ukraine. In accordance with the ruling, Ukraine must swiftly remove its 2015 export ban.

“The final ruling of a dispute settlement panel set up under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement found that the Ukrainian ban on the exports of all unprocessed wood is incompatible with the Association Agreement. Consequently, Ukraine is expected to terminate the export ban as soon as possible. This finding concludes the first ever EU trade dispute under a bilateral agreement,” reads the statement on the European Commission’s website.

As noted, the EU “has been supporting Ukraine with various projects, including support to environmental protection, public administration and sustainable forest management.”

“The Panel Ruling confirmed, however, that the general Ukrainian export ban introduced in 2015 on all unprocessed wood does not serve any of these legitimate policy objectives,” the statement reads.

In 2015, Ukraine introduced a 10-year export ban for all unprocessed wood, amending and supplementing a ban of 2005 on ten wood species of low commercial relevance. The EU raised the export ban with Ukraine at all levels and instances since 2015.

On 11 December 2020, the Panel issued its final ruling, concluding that the export bans are incompatible with Article 35 of the Association Agreement, which forbids export prohibitions.

The ruling also found that the export ban limited to ten specific wood species introduced in 2005 could be partially justified under plant life protection exceptions.

The Panel ruling means that Ukraine must swiftly remove its 2015 export ban on all unprocessed wood.

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