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International Trade Agreements

Customs and Duty
Each year the UK Government issues a two-volume text called “Customs Nomenclature” which sets out import information for UK importers and agents. As we are members of the European Union the customs categories and rates of duty within this document will be identical to the information published in all other EU Member States.
 
 
The most useful part of this document is Chapter 44 which specifically relates to wood and wood products. Within this chapter there are numbered sections with descriptive headings and sub-headings under which products must be categorised or declared. It is critical to choose the correct Customs Code because this single number determines all of the following:
a) the basic rate of duty applicable;
b) duty discounts which are available, such as General System of Preference (GSP);
c) additional duty which could be incurred, such as Anti Dumping measures;
d) which category of import statistics this volume appears within;
Incorrect declarations which inadvertently or knowingly causes duty to be underpaid is a criminal offence carrying heavy fines and, potentially, a prison sentence.
 
For more information about importing click here or Members can download the
 
Information about specific customs measures such as Anti Dumping will be contained in the documents such as NewsWise and can be found using the search facilities.

 

CITES

The ‘Washington’ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to protect certain plants and animals by regulating and monitoring their international trade to prevent reaching unsustainable levels.

The UK Government strongly supports CITES as an essential instrument for helping to safeguard species threatened by international trade. The Global Wildlife Division of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is the UK CITES Management Authority.

Visit the CITES page for more information on this topic.

 

 

Plant Health
 
International agreements on Plant Health are vital to protect the world’s forests by preventing the spread of pests and diseases from country to country or region to region.

 

Within our industry these agreements work on two levels. Some regulations impose specific requirements on the products we import, by targeting a species, or group of species, from a particular geographical region. The most recent example in this category being measures to counter the spread of Emerald Ash Borer from North America. Meanwhile more general legislation like ISPM 15 targets wood and wood based packaging regardless of its contents.
 
The Forestry Commission are the body responsible for Plant Health policy and its enforcement in the UK. A copy of the guide to importing and plant health is available. 

 

TTF members can download the latest Forestry Commission "Plant Health News" by clicking below:

Issue 29 - August 2010

World Trade Organisation
TTF advocates free and fair trade on behalf of its Members and as such, is committed to the rules-based trading system provided within the framework of the WTO (World Trade Organisation).
 
TTF members have also adopted the position that the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) presents a vital opportunity to consolidate and enhance this system by further liberalising the global trading environment. Particularly the aim to reduce tariffs and trade barriers for non-agricultural products such as wood.  These policy objectives are achieved by working closely with Government departments, such as BERR (Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), and bodies such as the CBI.
 
Trade liberalisation fuels economic growth, which leads to higher living standards and ensures sustainable development for developing countries, as well as providing direct benefits to the UK economy.