Today, the pioneering EU Regulation on deforestation-free supply chains, a key building block in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, enters into force. When companies export or place on the EU market palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber or derived products such as beef, furniture, or chocolate, they will need to conduct strict due diligence to show these products do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation.
The Regulation is a reflection of European citizens’ wish no longer to drive global deforestation through their consumption. Following today’s entry into force, operators and traders now have 18 months to prepare to comply.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “With the landmark law on deforestation, the EU is taking its share of responsibility for global deforestation and forest degradation. This law responds to the internationally shared objective to end deforestation and will benefit people around the globe. Forests serve vital needs and provide work and jobs for millions of people. This law will not only help protect the world’s forests, it will also boost the demand for deforestation-free products. All countries will be able to continue selling their commodities in the EU, provided they can prove they are deforestation-free. We will work with our international partners to help make this regulation a success.”
Companies will have to confirm that the product has been produced on land that has not been subject to deforestation or forest degradation after 31 December 2020. The regulation applies even-handedly to products from both inside and outside the EU. Small companies will benefit from special adaptations such as a longer adaptation period.
The Commission will also engage in dialogues with third countries to facilitate the implementation of the Regulation, and to jointly address the root causes of deforestation and forest degradation and to reduce deforestation risks.
The Commission has issued a Frequently Asked Questions document to support the compliance of operators and traders, in particular SMEs, with the requirements of this Regulation.