Europe Launches WTO Dispute Against Russia’s Timber Restrictions

The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, has started proceedings in the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Russia’s export restrictions on certain types of timber, the EC said in a release.

The Russian government has raised duty rates on certain types of timber to a barrier level for 2022 to limit exports of unprocessed timber.

« The EU is today requesting consultations with Russia at the WTO on the export restrictions imposed by Russia on certain types of timber products, » the EC said.

According to the release, Russia has raised export duties to 80%, although, according to its WTO commitments, the maximum should not exceed 13-15%. In addition, Moscow has reduced the number of border points for timber exports to the EU from more than 30 to one.

« Russia’s restrictions severely damage the EU timber industry, which depends on material supplies from Russia, and also create significant uncertainty in the global timber market, » the release said.

This is the first stage of the WTO dispute settlement process. Consultations have 60 days, and if the parties cannot agree, the EC may request formation of a panel of the organisation’s arbitrators to settle the dispute.


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