The focus is on imports consigned from Turkey and Kazakhstan, regardless of their declared origin, and the potential measures to tackle the circumvention.

The investigation takes place as a result of the concerns that have 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 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.

Woodstock provided the European Commission with prima-facie evidence and examples of attempts to go around duties and sanctions imposed by the EU.

“The fact is that neither of the two investigated countries was ever known as a significant birch plywood producer and until recently imported little to no birch plywood to the EU at all,” said Woodstock.

“Yet, following the imposition of the 2021 duties against Russian producers, and the 2022 entry into force of import-related sanctions against Russian producers, imports from Turkey massively and demonstrably surged. Similarly, Kazakhstan went from zero to tens of thousands of cubic meters.”

Imports of the product under investigation are being made subject to registration in order to ensure that, should the investigation result in findings of circumvention, anti-dumping duties of an appropriate amount, not exceeding the residual duty imposed by Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1930, can be levied from the date on which registration of such imports was imposed.

The investigation is due to be completed within nine months.