Competitiveness and Trade

Topics

competitiveness and trade
07 Jul.2017 ,

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

Today the EU has 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

Read more

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

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Read more

24 Nov.2016 ,

Tripling of direct costs on the European paper industry impedes Europe’s investment potential

"The time has come for a regulatory reset for the paper industry bringing investment back to Europe” says Sylvain Lhôte, CEPI’s Director General

A European Commission real-time 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.

While the paper industry is engaging in major transformation of its production base to capture both growth opportunities and dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions, such regulatory burden diminishes our investment capability and deters international capital allocation into Europe.

The cumulative cost impact assessment performed for the European Commission by Technopolis reveals the full scale of regulatory costs in the fields of climate, energy and environment policies (2/3 of alone which arise from climate change & energy regulations). Despite EU leader’s pledge for smarter regulation and investment in industry, these costs have not subsided in the period since 2004. Planned regulation for biomass-based large combustion plants, ETS and energy-related policies may indeed widen the regulatory cost burden.

In order to prevent the continued erosion of industry’s competitiveness, the EU and its member states must rapidly restore the conditions necessary to fuel transformative investments. Together with the European Commission we share a common agenda on climate change and sustainability, as evidenced by our 2050 vision to decarbonise by 80% and create 50% added-value. We envision ourselves as leading the transition to a circular, low carbon bioeconomy. We therefore ask the Commission and EU member states to act decisively and put back climate, energy & environmental policies on a pro-investment track.

The full text of the study is available here.

Below you will find the study slipt into several main parts.

(i) executive summary

(ii) methodology

(iii) legislation overview

(iv) results for pulp & paper sector

(v)  expected future costs towards 2030

You may also check out our easy-to-use infographic that breaks down the study's key findings.

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

Note to the Editor


Session at European Paper Week. A discussion of the study took place on 24 November at European Paper Week at a dedicated session “EU Regulations: How heavy is the financial burden for our industry?” together with Technopolis and other key thought leaders.

The session's presentations are available below:

CEPI

Technopolis

Projected timeline: CEPI will continue to remain at the forefront of discussion on smart regulation & industrial policy. Building on our activity at European Paper Week we will continue together with our national members to raise the issue with our stakeholders throughout November and December and into 2017.

CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing the industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.

Read more