The Ministry of Economy has proposed lifting the moratorium on the export of unprocessed timber (round timber). The Ministry also proposed to supplement the commodity list of timber and wooden products, for the export of which it is necessary to provide the customs with a certificate of origin. The bill was published on the Ministry's website for public comment.
In an explanatory note, the document initiators noted that the restriction on the unprocessed timber export violates the terms of the Association Agreement with the European Union. Therefore, it is recommended that Ukraine take measures to overcome this violation.
As for the supplement of the commodity list of timber and wooden products, the export of which requires certification of origin, the proposed regulation is due to the fact that certain entrepreneurs have come up with schemes for evading the law, exporting one type of forest products under the guise of another. The Ministry believes that it will help combat such violations.
Context. On April 9, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a law that imposed a ban on the export of unprocessed timber (round timber) for 10 years. This caused furious indignation in the European Union that was left without Ukrainian timber. The EU stated that the ban allegedly violates the requirements of Art. 35 of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU prohibiting any export restrictions.
In December 2020, the European Commission declared illegal the ban on the export of round timber from Ukraine and stated that it expected the lifting of any restrictions on the export of Ukrainian unprocessed timber.
In June 2020, a scandal broke out in which the Swedish company IKEA was involved. After an investigation by the public organization Earthsight, it turned out that the company allegedly sold furniture made from contraband Ukrainian beech.