16:31 14.12.2020

Arbitration Panel finds Ukraine's wood export ban illegal, obliges to cancel it - EU Delegation

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Arbitration Panel finds Ukraine's wood export ban illegal, obliges to cancel it - EU Delegation

The Arbitration Panel found Ukraine wood export ban illegal, the EU Delegation to Ukraine said on its website on Monday.

"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," the message says.

The delegation said this finding concludes the first ever EU trade dispute under a bilateral agreement.

The EU has been supporting Ukraine with various projects, including support to environmental protection, public administration and sustainable forest management as well as, for example, to the development of value chains for non-timber forest products and a multi-purpose 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. Accordingly, it is in breach of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which explicitly forbids export prohibitions," the message said.

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 delegation said.

Earlier, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture, Trade Representative Taras Kachka said that the arbitration panel in the dispute between Ukraine and the EU on the ban on the exports of unprocessed wood (round wood) recognized Ukraine's right to restrict the exports of wood under certain circumstances.

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