Since the year 2013 the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) came into effect. The goal is to ensure that timber and derivates placed on the EU market were sourced from legal and sustainable practices. However, in June 2023 the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) came to replace the EUTR. This new regulation covers more commodities than only timber and considers a broader purpose than sustainability and legitimate trade.
There has been a considerable impact on deforestation and degradation. From the year 1990 to 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that approx. 420 million hectares of forest worldwide have been lost due to deforestation. This equals an area about the surface of the European Union. Where 10% of this loss comes from EU’s consumption. With products like palm oil and soy accounting for more than two-thirds of this. For this reason the EUDR was implemented, to minimise the European Union contribution on deforestation and forest degradation worldwide.
These regulations apply to some commodities associated with a more significant impact on deforestation. Such as palm oil (34,0%), soy (32,8 %), wood (8,6 %), cocoa (7,5 %), coffee (7,0 %), cattle (5,0 %) and rubber (3,4 %). This does not merely apply to the raw material, but also to finished goods. For this the EUDR aims to halt the import of such commodities into the EU when not complying with the requirements.
Due to the regulation, any business selling products in the EU must be certain that the supplier of these commodities obtained them by complying with certain conditions. Moreover, the supplier must be capable to prove with specific data, that the products do not come from recently deforested land or have contributed to forest degradation. Furthermore, this regulation does not only aim to prevent deforestation. It also has an impact on human rights and reinforcing the respect of the rights of affected indigenous people. To comply, a due diligence must be signed by a person responsible, making the whole accountability related to a person, not just a company.
As you can see, many companies will be affected as they seek ways to efficiently gather all the data required to abide with the due diligence.