The European Union has just adopted the Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), thereby leaping towards deforestation-free supply chains for EU manufacturers and traders and tackling this large driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. As tropical deforestation is mainly caused by the expansion of agricultural land, the regulation will strive to effectively ban rubber and rubber derivatives linked to deforestation or the degradation of woodland from entering the EU market. In order to achieve this, the regulation introduces a three-step due diligence mechanism, which will also apply to soy, cattle, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee and their respective derivatives. EU importers, manufacturers, and exporters will have an 18-month period until the December 31, 2024 to comply with the new regulation, small and medium-sized companies until June 30, 2025.
No deforestation after December 2020
The three-step due diligence obliges companies to provide detailed information on their supply chain, to conduct a prior risk assessment, and to mitigate risks by collaborating with suppliers and potentially performing audits to ensure compliance. Traceable evidence must include the dates of production and the geolocation of the land, as products must not originate from areas that were deforested after December 31, 2020. Non-compliance will require corrective measures or lead to penalties, such as fines, the confiscation of products, and a temporary or permanent prohibition from trading the products on the EU market.
The Fair Rubber Association and the Global Nature Fund recently held a webinar on the EUDR in June 2023 and will continue to facilitate the knowledge exchange on the topic among the members of the Association.
More information on EUDR: