Tuesday, 24 October 2023
Leveraging FSC Certification to Meet EUDR Requirements
On June 29th 2023, the European Commission introduced the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation, (EUDR). The goal of the regulation is to minimize EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation by promoting, within the EU market, the consumption of deforestation-free products. The affected commodities are wood, coffee, cocoa, soy, beef, palm oil, and rubber. They will be subjected to additional European Union import requirements. Large companies with over 250 employees must comply by December 29, 2024. Companies with less than 250 employees will have until July 29, 2025, to comply with the regulation.
The main driver worldwide of deforestation is the development of agricultural commodities. The EUDR definition of deforestation is limited to the conversion of forests to agricultural uses, whether human-induced or not. The second part of the EUDR seeks to influence forest degradation, defined as structural changes to forest cover, converting primary or naturally regenerating forests to plantation forests or into other wooded land or primary forests into planted forests. These definitions are aligned with FSC International definitions associated with forest conversion.
FSC certification is well aligned with the EUDR and can be used to meet many of the EUDR requirements. FSC’s standards are already a tool for addressing and mitigating risks in relation to Indigenous Peoples, legality, genetically modified organisms, and social and environmental sustainability. FSC is working on initiatives to assist with EUDR compliance, including Blockchain technology, updated risk assessments, and the GIS mapping portal for the EUDR geolocation requirement.
Companies seeking to export wood products to the European Union (EU) must show that they originate from areas that are deforestation and forest-degradation-free before entering the EU market. Operators will comply by producing a due diligence statement, including product information regarding quantity, geolocation of the forest from which the wood originates, legality, and deforestation. Operators must also conduct a risk assessment. If the risk assessment shows reasonable doubt that the products did not originate from deforestation or degradation-free forests, operators must develop risk mitigation procedures and measures such as independent audits.
Recent consumer surveys show that the FSC logo is the world's most recognized mark for responsible forestry and that consumers place high trust in the FSC system to deliver on protecting the environment. For 30 years, FSC has been leading the fight against illegal logging, deforestation, and forest degredation. FSC is mobilizing a variety of measures to inform the FSC community about this new law, including podcasts, a web page, FAQ documents, and more. EUDR regulations complement the mission of FSC to protect forests and communities. Working with our partners and certificate holders, FSC can make EUDR compliance successful.
Additional FSC & EUDR resources:
- Visit the FSC & EUDR webpage
- Frequently Asked Questions – EU Deforestation Regulation
- ‘Forest of the Future’ podcast episodes on EUDR:
Episode 57: Setting the scene – Why requirements on geolocation? (Getting granular on EUDR, episode 1 of 3)
Episode 58: How might we use existing technologies to comply? (Getting granular on EUDR, episode 2 of 3)
Episode 59: The global perspective on EUDR (Getting granular on EUDR, episode 3 of 3)