The European Deforestation-free Regulation

Published on March 23, 2023

Regulation (EU) 2023/1115 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 May 2023 on the making available on the Union market and the export from the Union of certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation and repealing Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 was published in the Official Journal of the EU on the 9 of June 2023.

Presentation

The Regulation aims to prohibit the placing on the market or export from the European market of products that have contributed to deforestation or forest degradation after 31 December 2020. The scope of the text covers seven commodities: coffee, cocoa, rubber, palm oil, soy, beef and wood, as well as some derived products such as leather, charcoal, printed paper. The products concerned are listed in Annex 1 of the RDUE.
“Deforestation” refers to the conversion of “forests” as defined by FAO to agricultural use and forest “degradation” is defined on the basis of different criteria for structural changes in forest cover.
Traceability and transparency are at the heart of the proposed scheme to make sustainability of supply chains a new standard.

The Regulation requires the undertakings concerned (operators and traders as defined in Article 2 of the Regulation) to ensure that the products they export, place on the market or make available on the market are related to zero or negligible risk of deforestation. In particular, they will have to geolocate the origin of the products up to the production plots.

What are the requirements of the regulation?

Article 3

To comply with the regulation, the products concerned placed on the market or exported must:

Requirements of the regulation
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Requirements of the regulation

Operators and traders will be required to complete a due diligence statement in the information system developed by the European Commission that will centralize all due diligence statements.
The elements to be included in this declaration are listed in Annex 2 of the EUDR.

What are the obligations of companies?

Articles 4 and 5

Obligations of companies
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Obligations of companies

What is due diligence?

Articles 8, 9 and 10

The 3 steps of due diligence
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The 3 steps of due diligence

Operators will be able to exercise a simplified due diligence (no risk assessment step or risk mitigation) if the products come from countries or parts of countries classified as low risk by the European Commission.
In this case, operators shall make available to the competent authority, on request, the relevant documentation demonstrating that there is a negligible risk of circumvention of this Regulation or of mixing with products of unknown origin or originating in countries or parts of countries presenting a high or standard risk.

What is the timetable for implementing and reviewing the Regulation?

Articles 34 and 38

This regulation will apply from 30 December 2024 for companies (excluding SMEs) and from 30 June 2025 for SMEs.

No later than 30 June 2024, the European Commission must present an impact assessment on the extension of the Regulation to other wooded land. Then, by 30 June 2025 at the latest, a new impact assessment must be published by the Commission, concerning the extension of the regulation to other natural ecosystems, other commodities and financial institutions. These impact assessments will, where appropriate, be accompanied by a legislative proposal on the initiative of the European Commission.

The regulation will be reviewed no later than June 30, 2028 and at least every 5 years thereafter.

Timetable
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Timetable

What is the country benchmarking?

Article 29

The European Commission will classify countries and regions according to three risk categories (high, standard, low).

This list must be published by the European Commission no later than 30 December 2024.
This ranking will be based on an assessment based primarily on the following criteria:

  • rate of deforestation and forest degradation;
  • rate of expansion of agriculture land for relevant commodities;
  • production trends of relevant commodities and of relevant products.

What checks will be carried out?

Articles 16 to 19

The checks will be carried out by the competent authorities of each country. The annual checks must cover at least:
1% of operators whose products come from low-risk countries or parts thereof
3% of operators whose products come from countries or parts of countries with standard risk
9% of operators whose products come from high-risk countries or parts thereof and 9% of the quantity of each product

What is the competent authority in France?

Article 14

A joint competent authority shall be designated in France consisting of:

  • Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty
    The organisation scheme and the bodies dedicated to controls will be clarified in the course of 2024.

Resources

Regulation and impact assessment

Regulation (EU) 2023/1115 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 May 2023 on the making available on the Union market and the export from the Union of certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation and repealing Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 (June 2023)

Impact assessment accompanying EUDR(November 2021)

Questions and answers

Frequently asked question on EUDR (December 2023)

Questions and Answers on new rules for deforestation-free products (November 2021)

Other publications

EU Deforestation Regulation: An opportunity for smallholder (November 2023)

Biodiversity Deforestation-free products on the EU market (November 2021)

Tools

The EU Observatory on deforestation and forest degradation aims to monitor changes in the world’s forest cover and related drivers. Besides providing access to global forest maps and spatial forest and forestry-related information, this Observatory will facilitate access to scientific information on supply chains, linking deforestation, forest degradation and changes in the world’s forest cover to Union demand for commodities and products.
Data and information provided on this Observatory play a supporting role but do not assure compliance or imply non-compliance with EU Regulations, other legal frameworks or commitments, or international agreements.
Within the European Commission’s digital platform, Capacity4dev, a collaborative group is dedicated to deforestation and forest degradation. It is possible to share information, best practices and interact with other users regarding the implementation of EUDR.

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