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Trade barrier investigations | Brussels, 5 March 2018

EU halts trade barrier investigation after Turkey lifts restrictions on paper

Today the EU officially halted its probe into trade barriers in Turkey after the country removed measures concerning imports of a particular variety of paper.

On 7 July 2017 the Commission initiated an investigation under the Trade Barriers Regulation at the request of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). The restrictions had affected companies based in 17 EU member states but were removed on 7 December 2017.

The contested measure concerned an import monitoring and surveillance system applied by Turkey to imports of uncoated wood-free paper. It meant that importers had to apply for and obtain a surveillance certificate in order to import such paper for $1,200 per tonne or less into Turkey. In practice, the sensitive business information required to acquire this certificate meant that it was impossible for importers to comply. Without the surveillance certificate, EU paper importers in Turkey were asked to pay higher VAT rates and were therefore put at a disadvantage.

The Commission report concluded that the measure would be inconsistent with both WTO and the EU – Turkey Customs Union rules. As Turkey has removed the measure, the EU will not pursue the matter further but will continue to monitor the situation closely.

The Decision
Report to the Trade Barriers Committee

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