The latest EUDR updates at the European Commission level
25 January 2024 EU Deforestation Regulation
At PEFC, we are committed to halting deforestation and strongly support the objectives of the EU Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR). To provide our stakeholders with the latest information on EUDR implementation at the Commission level, we are sharing regular updates, so you have all the information you need in one place.
To discover how PEFC is your partner for the EUDR, visit out EUDR website. You can also sign up to our Technical Matters newsletter to receive all the latest news and progress.
The Commission addressed the most frequent questions received from relevant stakeholders in the latest EUDR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available here. The document will be updated over time.
The Commission is developing Guidelines that will elaborate on some of the aspects, notably the definition of “agricultural use” (addressing issues related to agroforestry and agricultural land), certification, legality, and other relevant aspects. To an extent, the existing guidelines on the EU Timber Regulation will be used as a basis. The documents are planned to be published before the entry into application of the EUDR (30 December 2024), however, the guideline on legality may be available earlier in 2024. The Commission does not plan to issue commodity-specific guidelines, but aims to put forward best practice examples, including in guidance documents, which will to some extent cover commodity-specific aspects.
The decisions on the country benchmarking system are not yet available. The Commission’s recently closed Call for Tenders, available here, may successfully appoint the external contractor who will support the benchmarking system operated by the Commission, and will classify countries, or parts thereof, into three categories (high, standard, and low risk). The classification will be based on each country’s level of risk of producing commodities that are not deforestation-free. As of 29 June 2023, all countries were assigned a standard level of risk, which impacts their due diligence obligations. However, this may change when the assessment results will be made available by the Commission by Q4 2024.
In December, the Commission launched the EU Observatory on deforestation and forest degradation, available here. Its main components are the Global Forest Monitoring map for 2020, an overview of global Production and Trade of Commodities, and EU tools for Forest Monitoring. It builds on existing monitoring tools (e.g., Copernicus and other publicly or privately available sources) and includes publicly available maps and datasets on changes in the world’s forest cover and associated drivers. Non-mandatory, it will serve as a risk assessment tool in the due diligence process. Its verification function is, however, limited, due to its levels of precision.
The Information System, to which operators and traders will submit the due diligence statements to comply with the EUDR, is currently in the test phase until the end of January. The test involves 100 selected operators, who will report back to the Commission on the system’s functionalities. All interested companies will be able to participate in a training organised in the European summer of 2024 and the Commission also plans to make available user manuals and other relevant self-learning material.
The list of the Competent Authorities in EU Member Countries responsible for fulfilling the obligations of the EUDR is available here and will be updated over with new designations.
Team Europe initiative on Deforestation-free Value Chains, launched on 9 December, will facilitate the EU’s inclusive partnerships with producing countries. Worth 70 million EUR, it brings together the Commission and EU Member Countries, including Germany, Netherlands, and France and complements the ongoing programmes from the EU and its Member States. Further details are available here. In parallel, the Commission is driving the Forest Partnerships programme worth 1 billion EUR which encompass the EU's holistic cooperation framework for joint work on forests. So far, the Commission has signed the Memoranda of Understanding with Guyana, Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Zambia.
The Commission’s Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Protecting and Restoring the World’s Forests is a platform where EU Member States, selected stakeholders, including PEFC (the list of platform members is available here), third countries and the European Commission discuss the main strands of the EUDR work, including aspects on traceability and smallholders’ inclusion. The working materials is publicly available here.
In addition, the Commission invites all interested stakeholders to subscribe to their public Deforestation and Forest Degradation Platform group on Capacity4Dev. The platform enables participation in relevant discussions, sharing of articles, news or any other relevant information.