Ilyashev & Partners is defending Ukrainian trade and economic interests in a dispute between Ukraine and the EU relating to a temporary export ban on unprocessed timber.
According to the firm, "the case concerns the ... interpretation of the provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, in particular with respect to the right of each party to establish and regulate the levels of national environmental protection [and] sustainable forest management, as well as issues of the national policy of Ukraine in the field of forestry and environmental protection.
In specific, the dispute arose in connection with the introduction by Ukraine of a moratorium on the export of unprocessed (raw) timber. Since 2005, Ukraine has a permanent ban on the export of timber and lumber of valuable and rare species, including acacia, birch, cherry tree, pear tree, walnut, chestnut, yew, sweet cherry tree, planetree maple, and juniper. In 2015, a temporary ban was imposed for a period of ten years on the export of unprocessed timber of any species, with the exception of pine, for which the moratorium began on January 1, 2017.
The European Union is claiming that Ukraine's failure to lifting the 2005 export ban on rare and valuable wood species and its introduction of a temporary export ban on unprocessed timber in 2015 contradict the provisions of Article 35 of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement as to the prohibition of export and import restrictions on goods.
In January 2019, the EU requested consultations with Ukraine with regard to the temporary ban on the export of unprocessed timber. The consultations were not succesful, and in June 2019, the EU initiated arbitration and sent a request to establish an Arbitration Panel. The Arbitration Panel’s hearings took place on September 22-23, 2020.
According to Ilyashev & Partners, this is the first dispute arising within the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement framework, "and the second case in EU history ... to be resolved by ad hoc arbitration provided for by the bilateral interstate trade agreement."