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Week of 1 July 2024: EUDR

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If you have not heard of EUDR by now, surely others in your company have. This is the European Commission Regulation on Deforestation-free products. Subtitle: EU rules to guarantee that the products EU citizens consume do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation worldwide.

The operative word here is "worldwide." Thus, no matter where you make your forest products, if you want to sell it in the EU, you must comply. However, reading more closely, you will find this set of regulations is not limited to just forest products. Quoting from the opening page of the website for this topic, it says: "On 29 June 2023, the Regulation on deforestation-free products entered into force. The main driver of these processes is the expansion of agricultural land that is linked to the production of commodities like cattle, wood, cocoa, soy, palm oil, coffee, rubber, and some of their derived products, such as leather, chocolate, tyres (sic), or furniture..."

If your non-forest products activities lead to deforestation, you are also out of compliance: "...Under the Regulation, any operator or trader who places these commodities on the EU market, or exports from it, must be able to prove that the products do not originate from recently deforested land or have contributed to forest degradation...."

When do you have to comply? Within eighteen months of 29 Jun 2023, or the end of 2024, six months from now.

Personally, I am agnostic about these regulations. The conditions are very simple...if you want to participate in the markets included, you will need to comply. My only hope is that there is rigorous enforcement, for if all have to comply it will make for an even playing field. The consumer, of course, through higher prices will ultimately pay for compliance.

Due to this and other initiatives currently being promulgated, I have labeled this the "Age of Detailed Environmental Responsibility." We will be discussing other new regulations affecting our industry throughout the month of July.

Be safe and we will talk next week.


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