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Forests | 23 May 2023

The new EU Deforestation-free Products Regulation - Key obligations for EU Member States
Forest Risk Commodities
Forests & trade

PDF | 355 kb

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The new EU Deforestation-free Products Regulation - Key obligations for EU Member States

On 19 April and 16 May 2023 the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union respectively adopted the final text of a new Regulation on deforestation-free products.

This new Regulation represents a leap forward in the EU’s efforts to ensure that products consumed in the EU, regardless of where they were produced, do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation globally. The new rules are a significant evolution of the existing EU rules on trade in illegal timber – the EU Timber Regulation (“EUTR”), and will require an equivalently significant evolution in the work of enforcement authorities in EU Member States to ensure they are followed and enforced.

These obligations on Member States may require some Member States to act quickly to put the required enforcement framework in place. The most pressing obligation is to designate one or more agencies responsible for enforcing the Regulation, known as “competent authorities”. Member States will also need to establish national rules on penalties for cases of non-compliance. The Regulation also includes a number of critical structural improvements to facilitate its uniform application and enforcement across the EU which will require Member States to facilitate coordination of enforcement within their territory and across the EU.

This briefing unpacks these new requirements with the aims of clarifying the actions required of EU Member States in the first 18 months of the Regulation’s commencement and supporting Member States to properly prepare for its implementation and enforcement.