Are you EUDR-Ready? Is Certification an Insurance Policy?

A series of webinars by PEFC, the world's largest forest certification scheme, has provided it's 20,000 certificate holders with clarification about the new legislation.

Thu 07 Mar 24


Forest certification is well positioned to meet the vast majority of EU Deforestation Regulation (or EUDR) elements and will soon be “EUDR-ready” to play a crucial role in ensuring that global supply chains are deforestation-free.

That is according to PEFC, the world’s largest forest certification scheme, which, last week, hosted a series of webinars as part of its public consultation, outlining the steps it now takes to ensure that more than 20,000 certified companies across 280 million hectares of forest area are ready for the new legislation.

Last week, PEFC International recorded a series of webinars updating global stakeholders on its alignment with the new EUDR – which, as part of the EU’s New Green Deal, is the world’s most ambitious policy to address deforestation – footage courtesy of @pefcinternational.

As reported by Wood Central last year, the European Commission has ratified new legislation, enforceable from December 2024, which will be applicable for all goods produced after June 29 2023.

The new law bans the sale of coffee, cocoa, cattle, palm oil, soy, and wood related to deforestation. The EU is also introducing a benchmarking system that assigns a risk level—low, standard, or high—associated with deforestation and forest degradation to countries both inside and outside the EU.

According to the PEFC Working Group on EUDR, “PEFC certification already addresses sustainability, legality and due diligence and considers deforestation and forest degradation through our Sustainable Forest Management and Chain of Custody standards.”

Working on a roadmap, “EUDR-related standards are now open for a public consultation period which will run until the end of the month,” according to the PEFC Working Group, which added that “in March and April, PEFC will be pilot testing the new standards.”

“Companies already purchasing material for 2024 will be invited to start implementing the requirements and provide us with feedback so we can further improve our requirements.”

PEFC and FSC are well positioned to meet the legislation’s requirements, with their holistic approach considering environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainable forest management while addressing deforestation and timber legality.

Last year, PEFC International produced a webinar introducing the new EU Deformation Regulation and outlined its impact on forest certification – footage courtesy of @pefcinternational.
New Report: Top 100 Pulp & Paper Producers Not EUDR-Ready!

The recent webinar comes amid uncertainty over the impact of the new legislation on global supply chains for certified products.

Last year, Wood Central revealed that the top 100 pulp and paper companies were “largely unprepared” for the new rules.

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) data found that just 13.3% of companies provide evidence of deforestation monitoring within their operations, and just 4% monitor suppliers and contractors.

According to Sam Ross, ZSL’s Sustainable Business Project Analysis and the report’s leading author, the findings highlight a fundamental need for greater readiness ahead of the December 2024 starting point.

“If the timber industry does not rapidly enact substantial change,” Mr Ross said, “the lack of preparedness could have serious business implications.” 

“The EU is a major market for many of the companies we assessed, so there is a clear financial incentive for them to take meaningful and immediate action to tackle deforestation.” 

EUDR webinar Speakers 2 X 1
Register for the PEFC International webinar. (Photo Credit: PEFC International)
How it Works

The regulation introduces a benchmarking system that assigns countries inside and outside the EU a low, standard, or high-risk level associated with deforestation and forest degradation.

This risk classification will guide the obligations of various operators and the authorities in member states to perform inspections and controls.

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PEFC has produced a roadmap to EUDR alignment. (Photo Credit: PEFC International)

Consequently, it will streamline monitoring for high-risk countries and simplify due diligence processes for low-risk countries.

Authorities must inspect 9% of operators and traders dealing with products from high-risk countries, 3% from standard-risk countries, and 1% from low-risk countries. 

This inspection aims to confirm whether they are effectively meeting the obligations stipulated by the regulation.


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