European Union Deforestation Regulation

Paper Excellence participated in the “Wood you find it?” event hosted by FSC International in Brussels to discuss the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), approved in April by the European Parliament. Representatives of the European Commission responsible for the approved text, public policy makers, companies, NGOs and FSC leaders discussed together what are the biggest challenges for the implementation of the EUDR.

The main objective of the new regulation is to ensure that products produced or marketed in the European Union do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation. The new regulation is applied for any product related to six commodities: cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans and wood as well as a variety of their by-products.

Wood products arriving in Europe from non-European producers represent considerable numbers. Brazil is among the top suppliers with 38 percent, behind China with 73 percent and ahead of Russia with 32 percent. Pulp and paper pipelines alone already account for more than EUR 15 billion in imports from Europe. Among the main European purchasing countries are: Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany and France.

Companies will have 18 months to adapt and meet the new EDUR requirements. Therefore, it is essential that supplier countries are aware of the new rules and seek to participate more actively in the ongoing discussions, so that their concerns can be considered from the initial stage of regulation implementation. Within the working groups, Paper Excellence suggested that sectoral meetings be held to discuss the main issues so we can contribute to the search for the best solutions and technologies.

In general, the main question brought up by the EUDR is how to ensure the traceability of the chain and the origin of the wood. According to Astrid Ladefoged, from the Commission responsible for drafting the text, the most important thing companies having the geolocation coordinates of each area from which the wood is cut. But, when we analyze the approved text, there are still points of doubt, in addition to some requirements that small producers may not be able, specifically in relation to the need for due diligence.
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