Research and data on forest commodity supply chains and policy

Under the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), companies can only sell products in the EU if the supplier of the product has issued a “due diligence” statement confirming that the product does not come from deforested land or caused forest degradation*. Additionally, the product must have been legally produced and traded in accordance with the laws of the country of origin.

Although it’s not enforced yet, the adopted text of the EUDR is expected to be formally endorsed by the European Council by June 2023. It will be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later.

EUDR requirements

Specifically, the adopted text of the EUDR states that relevant commodities and products shall not be placed on the EU market unless they are:

  • deforestation-free;
  • legally produced in accordance with the laws of the country of origin; and
  • covered by a due diligence statement. 

Relevant products are those that have been made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rubber, soya and wood.

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EUDR due diligence

So, like its predecessor the EU Timber Regulation, the EUDR requires operators to conduct due diligence with regard to the products supplied by each particular supplier. This due diligence shall include:

  1. the collection of information, data and documents needed to fulfill due diligence requirements (set out in Article 9);
  2. risk assessment measures (as referred to in Article 10);
  3. risk mitigation measures (as referred to in Article 11).

Consequently, this obligation of due diligence means that an operator can be in violation of the new EUDR law by simply failing to exercise adequate due diligence as determined by the courts – even if the product placed on the market is deforestation-free and legally produced. (See: UK timber company fined under EUTR)

So then, what is “adequate” due diligence? The details on these requirements will be explained in the next article, “EUDR diligence requirements”.

*after 31 December 2020.

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