Deutscher Verband Tiernahrung (DVT), representing the feed industry, is one of the industry bodies expressing deep apprehension.
As the transition period for the EU Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR) approaches its end in a matter of months, these key players in the agricultural and food industry assert [German only statement] that the new rules, aimed at ensuring products are sourced without contributing to deforestation, are largely unimplementable, as things stand.
They highlight a series of hurdles, which they say leave market participants grappling with a plethora of unresolved inquiries.
While acknowledging the importance of combating deforestation, the industry stakeholders stress that the regulatory framework itself poses formidable bureaucratic challenges, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises and smaller producers in the global south.
Compliance necessitates significant investments and organizational adjustments, with many of the prerequisites for adhering to the new regulation still undisclosed.
The EUDR aims to prevent global deforestation linked to agricultural products imported into the EU. The regulation mandates global producers and traders of soy, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, cattle, hides and leather, wood, and rubber to furnish evidence by the close of 2024 showing that their products originate from deforestation-free regions, in order to continue importing and selling within the EU market.
From December 30 this year companies will have to demonstrate with due diligence and traceability to plot that their imports of soy and those other commodities have not caused deforestation.
They are also obliged to prove that no new deforestation has taken place after the 2020 cut-off date for products traded in the EU-27. Non-compliance with the regulation could result in drastically high penalties for agri-commodity buyers and the confiscation of goods.
Lack of legal certainty
The coalition contends that the EU Commission must promptly address crucial technical and administrative hurdles.
Additionally, they advocate for the prompt publication of clear and pragmatic guidelines, ensuring legal certainty for all affected parties. Furthermore, they call for an extension of the existing transition period, providing companies with ample time to prepare for the additional requirements imposed by the EUDR.
FEFAC in its outlook for 2024 published on this site last month also noted the need for clarifications before the EUDR’s December implementation date, highlighting the legislation’s potential impact on soy trade flows.