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