New EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products Comes into Force
A new EU regulation imposing stricter conditions on the trade of products associated with deforestation has officially come into force today. The regulation requires certain goods exported or placed on the EU market to be “deforestation free”. This includes products such as palm oil, cattle, soya, coffee, cocoa, timber, rubber, as well as derived products like beef, furniture, and chocolate. The EU has stated that the list of commodities covered by the law will be regularly reviewed and updated, taking into account new data on deforestation patterns.
The regulation applies to products from both within and outside the EU. While no country or commodity will be banned, companies exporting or placing these products on the EU market will be required to conduct strict due diligence. They must confirm that the product has been produced on land that has not undergone deforestation or forest degradation, including primary forests, after December 31, 2020. Companies must also verify that these products comply with the relevant legislation of the country of production, including human rights laws, and that the rights of indigenous peoples affected by deforestation have been respected.
Operators and traders have 18 months to implement the new rules. Micro and small enterprises will have a longer adaptation period, along with other specific provisions. During this 18-month period, the EU Commission will assess the risk of deforestation in different countries. Products from low-risk countries will be subject to a simplified due diligence procedure. In cases where countries are identified as high risk, the commission will engage in a specific dialogue to reduce the risk rating.
The EU has emphasized that this new law will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, in addition to halting a significant portion of global deforestation. It also aims to secure the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on forest ecosystems. Virginijus Sinkevicius, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, commented on the regulation, stating that the EU is taking responsibility for global deforestation and forest degradation. He added that this law aligns with the international objective to end deforestation and will benefit people worldwide. Sinkevicius also noted that the regulation will not only protect forests but also increase the demand for deforestation-free products.
Under this regulation, all countries can continue selling their commodities in the EU, provided they can prove they are deforestation-free. The EU is committed to working with international partners to ensure the success of this regulation.
In conclusion, the new EU regulation on deforestation-free products has come into effect, imposing stricter conditions on the trade of certain goods associated with deforestation. The regulation aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and secure the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on forest ecosystems. Companies exporting or placing these products on the EU market must conduct strict due diligence to ensure compliance with the regulation. The EU will assess the risk of deforestation in different countries and engage in dialogue to reduce the risk rating. All countries can continue selling their commodities in the EU if they can prove they are deforestation-free. The EU is committed to working with international partners to make this regulation a success.