EU should ensure control over imports of round timber from Ukraine – Deputy PM Stefanishyna
The European Union (EU) should ensure control over the import of round timber from Ukraine, and Ukraine should establish punishment for the smuggling of unprocessed timber into the EU, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna has said.
"We want the EU, for its part, to ensure control over the import of relevant products and not close its eyes "on its part of the coast" regarding what goes to them as imports," she said during the Trade Wars: The Art of Defense conference held in Kyiv on Tuesday.
"The negotiations are really difficult, and I am sure that this year, at the Ukraine-EU summit, this issue will receive a lot of attention," she added.
According to the deputy prime minister, the moratorium on the export of unprocessed timber was a forced step, and the Arbitration Panel agreed with this. "It is quite easy to lift the moratorium, but we must create a transparent system that would make illegal logging impossible. And it is not easy. This issue will be discussed with the EU. In particular, we want to discuss how to make it impossible for European companies to buy illegal timber from Ukraine," the deputy prime minister said.
As reported, the Verkhovna Rada on April 9, 2015 adopted a law, which banned the export of unprocessed timber and sawn timber (round timber) for 10 years.
In 2018, parliament limited domestic consumption of unprocessed timber to 25 billion cubic meters per year.
In January 2020, Ukraine and the EU established an arbitration panel to consider a dispute over Ukraine's ban on the export of raw timber. At the end of 2020, it issued a decision recognizing its right to restrict timber exports under certain circumstances, while at the same time recognizing the need to adjust the 2015 moratorium in cooperation with the EU.
The Verkhovna Rada has registered bill No. 4197-1, which proposes to lift the ban on the import of unprocessed timber exclusively for EU countries after transparency in the domestic market is ensured.