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competitiveness and trade
05 Mar.2018 ,

European paper industry’s trade complaint against Turkey upheld in European Commission report

The EU has today released a report related to a Trade Barrier Regulation ("TBR") investigation launched following a complaint lodged by CEPI, the European association representing the paper industry. The report upheld the complaint finding that the measures imposed by Turkey on the imports of certain varieties of paper such as office paper, books, envelopes and paper used for direct mail marketing (otherwise known as uncoated wood free (“UWF”) paper) from the EU were inconsistent with both WTO and the EU–Turkey Customs Union rules.
 

"CEPI takes pride in its strong commitment to free trade with its partners. The decision by the Turkish authorities to remove these unfair measures is applaudable; however this issue should never have been escalated in the first place. It is our expectation that the Turkish authorities stand by their obligations under the EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement in the future” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.

In advance of the Commission’s publication of the report Turkey removed the unfair trade measures. With this in mind, the EU has decided not to pursue the matter further. The industry will however remain vigilant that similar measures do not hinder the free flow of trade between the EU and Turkey in the future, particularly in light of the modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement.


Background to the trade complaint:
Following an inconclusive safeguard investigation on UWF imports in 2014-2015, Turkey extended in 2016 an existing import licensing system which targeted €150 million of EU exports of UWF paper products.The Turkish non-automatic import licensing system with regard to UWF paper was based on an arbitrary price threshold and created a significant and unfair obstacle to EU-Turkey trade. The contested system posed a clear violation of WTO and the EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement. The European paper industry already exports 22% of its produce outside the EU and will continue to remain an advocate for free trade and take a firm stance where this is put at risk.
 

For more information, please contact Bernard Lombard, Industrial Policy Director, at b.lombard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 22.


For press-related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard, Press Manager, at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82.
 

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07 Jul.2017 ,

EU launches trade investigation against Turkey following complaint by the European paper industry

Today the EU decided to launch investigations against Turkey for breach of EU-Turkey Customs Union and WTO rules confirming the validity of a complaint lodged by the European paper industry.

CEPI, the independent voice of the paper industry in Europe, presented a trade complaint (Trade Barrier Regulation (“TBR”)) to the European Commission on the 24 April 2017. The complaint concerned the unfair non-automatic import licensing system established by Turkey concerning, inter alia, EU exports of certain varieties of paper including office paper, books, envelopes and paper used for direct mail marketing (otherwise known as uncoated wood free (“UWF”) paper). This is both the first time a TBR complaint has been launched in almost ten years and the first time CEPI as an industry association has lodged a trade complaint.

"Today’s launch of this investigation is an indictment of the Turkish authorities’ reluctance to maintain a level-playing field when it comes to free trade. Turkey should withdraw, in the spirit of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and its WTO commitments, any unfair trade barriers” say Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.

The unfair non-automatic import licensing system puts at risk over €150 million worth of EU exports of these varieties of paper. At a time when global free trade is under increasing pressure the European paper industry urges the Turkish authorities to stand on the side of free trade. The paper industry already exports 22% of its entire produce outside the EU and will continue to remain an advocate for free trade and take a firm stance where this is put at risk.

What can be expected next? Within a five to seven month period the Commission will now engage in a detailed investigation of the concerns raised by CEPI resulting in a report which may warrant the launch of WTO proceedings.

Background to the trade complaint: Following an inconclusive safeguard investigation on UWF imports in 2014-2015, Turkey extended in 2016 an existing import licensing system which targeted €150 million of EU exports of UWF paper products. The Turkish non-automatic import licensing system with regard to UWF paper is based on an arbitrary price threshold and creates a significant and unfair obstacle to EU-Turkey trade. As such, the contested system poses a clear violation of WTO and EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement.

Publication in the Official Journal of the European Union: the link to the publication can be consulted here.

For more information, please contact Bernard Lombard, Industrial Policy Director at b.lombard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 22

For press related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard, Press Officer at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82

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24 Apr.2017 ,

European paper industry lodges complaint against unfair Turkish import licensing on EU exports of office paper

CEPI (the Confederation of European Paper Industries) has presented a Trade Barrier Regulation (“TBR”) complaint to the European Commission against the unfair non-automatic import licensing system established by Turkey concerning, inter alia, EU exports of uncoated wood free (“UWF”) paper, which includes office paper, books, envelopes and paper used for direct mail marketing.

Following an inconclusive safeguard investigation on UWF imports in 2014-2015, Turkey extended in 2016 an existing import licensing system which targeted €150 million of EU exports of UWF paper products.

The Turkish non-automatic import licensing system with regard to UWF paper is based on an arbitrary price threshold and creates a significant and unfair obstacle to EU-Turkey trade. As such, the contested system poses a clear violation of WTO and EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement which the Commission is currently seeking to strengthen.

The European pulp and paper industry exports more than 20% of its production worldwide. It is essential that the EU ensures with all its trading partners the full respect of free trade and fair competition rules we have in bilateral agreements like with Turkey and at WTO level” say Sylvain Lhôte

For more information, please contact Bernard Lombard at b.lombard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 22

For press related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82

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16 Feb.2017 ,

Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy

The declaration is signed by 125 Associations

Europe is the cradle of the manufacturing industry and has been at the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations. The industry directly employs over 34 million people across all Member States, in supply chains comprising hundreds of thousands of SMEs and larger suppliers. It also indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors.

The European manufacturing industry has tremendous capacity for research and innovation, boasts a skilled workforce and has earned a global reputation for quality and sustainability. What it now needs is the swift and determined support of the European institutions and the Member States to create more jobs and growth in Europe.

The time has come to raise the alarm about the considerable challenges that we are all facing. Between 2000 and 2014, the share of manufacturing in total EU output fell from 18.8% to 15.3%, while 3.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost between 2008 and 2014. Meanwhile, countries around the world are putting industry at the very top of their political agendas. The “Make in India” strategy aims to ensure India is “the next manufacturing destination” and “Made in China 2025” seeks to turn China into the “leading manufacturing power”. The recent US shift towards “America First” will inevitably have a strong impact on their industrial policy.

At the beginning of his mandate, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker identified the reindustrialisation of Europe as one of his top priorities and confirmed the objective of increasing the share of industry in the European GDP to 20% by 2020. As we approach the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, it is vital for the European Commission to act and help the EU remain a competitive global industrial power playing in a fairer world market.

Therefore we, the European manufacturing industry, representing a diverse range of sectors, call on the European Commission to:

  • reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;
  • adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing, in the framework of a Communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and
  • commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.

Member States and the European Parliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European industrial strategy via the European Council Conclusions calling to strengthen and modernise the EU’s industrial base (15 December 2016) and the Parliament Resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy (5 October 2016).

We, the Signatories of this Joint Declaration, are ready to step up our cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implement this ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe.

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28 Nov.2016

Infographic: Cost of EU regulations on European paper industry

A European Commission study on our sector has revealed that over the past 10 years, direct regulatory costs have more than tripled. On average, direct and ETS-related indirect regulatory costs have absorbed more than 40% of the industry’s annual profitability since 2004.

You can download here an easy-to-use infographic demonstrating the findings of the study . 

Full information on the study can be consulted on our website here

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