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Green Business

Deforestation Regulation implementation

The Regulation on Deforestation Free Products (EUDR) is an important turning point in the global fight against deforestation. It will start to apply on 30 December 2024.

Deforestation and landscape fragmentation, Cameroon

The new rules apply if you place on the EU market or export from the EU: palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber as well as derived products (such as beef, furniture, or chocolate). The regulation applies for any quantity of product, large or small.

Rainforest canopy in the Congo basin, Cameroon

The Regulation applies to all products placed on the market from 30 December 2024 (30 June 2025 for small businesses).

Female hands working with a pen and paper

Due diligence must be carried out to ensure the products are free of deforestation. They come from land that wasn’t deforested after December 31, 2020. They must also comply with the laws in the country where they were produced.

Shipping containers

Operators must collect information, documents and data showing that the product is deforestation-free and legal, such as geolocation coordinates, quantity, country of production, etc.

Erosion due to deforestation in Madagascar

Operators must assess whether there is a risk the product does not comply with the rules, and if such a risk exists, adopt risk mitigation procedures.

Competition for land and deforestation (NW Zimbabwe)

A benchmarking system operated by the Commission will classify countries or areas into three risk categories according to the risk of producing commodities there that are not deforestation-free.

What actions need to be taken at each stage of the supply chain?

1 - Growing

Commodities must be produced legally and be deforestation-free. Geolocation data of the area of production must be collected.

Commodities that were produced illegally, on land deforested after 31 December 2020 or that is not traceable, do not comply with the rules and cannot be placed on the EU market. Compliant commodities must be stored separately those that are of unknown origin or are not compliant.

2 - Trading and shipping

Deforestation-free and legal commodities must be kept separate from other goods while being traded and shipped. Mixing compliant and non-compliant commodities or commodities of unknown origin is not allowed. In such cases, the whole shipment would be non-compliant and cannot be placed on the EU market.

3 - Importing

Before placing a product on the EU market, the importer must perform due diligence.

The importer must also submit a Due Diligence Statement and will receive a reference number (and security token), which must be reported in the customs declaration for import.

Only compliant products may be placed on the EU market. The operator may place the product on the EU market when it has been released for import by the customs authorities.

4 - Producing

Large manufacturers of goods in the EU (e.g. chocolate manufacturers) must check that due diligence has been exercised upstream in the supply chain.

Large producers must check the Due Diligence Statement (DDS) of the commodity importer and submit their own DDS for their products, using the reference number of the upstream DDS. The operator then receives a new DDS reference number and security token.

5 - Selling or exporting products

Before selling the product on the EU market, large retailers must check that due diligence has been exercised upstream in the supply chain.

The retailer must check the DDS upstream in the supply chain and submit their own DDS based on all previous reference numbers. The trader then receives a new DDS reference number and security token.

Small companies (SMEs) do not need to check or submit due diligence statements for products that have been subject to due diligence further up the supply chain.