PEFC Positions Itself as Partner for EUDR Compliance: Summit

Fabienne Sinclair at Sustainability in Packaging Asia

Fri 07 Jun 24


Contributing to raising awareness of sustainable forest management and responsible sourcing, PEFC’s Head of Market Engagement, Fabienne Sinclair, spoke at Sustainability in Packaging Asia in Singapore on 5 June.

The European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) is top of mind to thousands of companies in Asia Pacific who are actively engaged in exporting to European Union countries.

She explained that the EUDR primarily focuses on products commonly associated with deforestation, including Beef, Soy, Palm oil, Cocoa, Coffee, Rubber, and, of course, Timber and wood products.

Many in the audience undoubtedly saw themselves as “affected stakeholders” by the EU regulations, as they’re in pulp, paper, packaging, and/or printing industries, which fall into the larger “timber and wood products” classification.

It was only last month that Fast Markets pointed out: With less than eight months to go before the implementation period for the European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) ends on December 30, concerns are mounting in the pulp, paper, and printing industries over the potential threats that the legislation poses to European companies.

“The due diligence obligation is actually one of the pivotal points of the EUDR: every company trading one of the listed products in or out of the EU must ensure traceability back to the specific plot of land where the fibers originated,” said Andrea Venturini in her 22 May article.

With this and “the big picture” in mind, Ms Sinclair was able to assure the industry audience that PEFC has “EUDR-aligned solutions” that will support certificate holders’ compliance.

EUDR, which entered into force on 29 June 2023, aims to decrease the production and consumption of commodities and derived products linked to deforestation and forest degradation entering or leaving the EU market.

“We have a longstanding commitment,” she insisted “to halting deforestation through the promotion of sustainable forest management and products that do not contribute to forest loss.

“We are committed to continuing this work and strongly support the objectives of the EU Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR).”

She reinforced the fact that: “Forests play a vital role in climate change mitigation provided they are sustainably managed.”

She was also able to set out the three key factors intrinsic to the EUDR, as there can be no placement or export from the EU market, unless products are:

  • DEFORESTATION-FREE – produced on land that has not been subject to deforestation and forest degradation after December 31, 2020
  • LEGAL – have been produced in accordance with the relevant legislation of the country of production.
  • ACCOMPANIED BY A DUE DILIGENCE STATEMENT – submit to a European information system confirming that the companies have successfully exercised due diligence.

It is clear that PEFC has already addressed safeguarding forests by halting deforestation and forest degradation, as well as protecting biodiversity, soil, water; mitigating climate change; promoting sustainable livelihoods and therefore alignment with EUTR.

Ms Sinclair did admit that there were further areas for improvement and these included:

  • Gaining a clearer understanding of  EUDR-specific definitions re deforestation, forest degradation”.
  • An update to make sure the Due Diligence System (DDS) methodology was aligned with EUDR

More on Geolocation and Data transfer.

PEFC is well placed “to ensure you will be able to meet the EUDR requirements”, she explained, “as forest certification is a valuable tool in preventing the flow of material coming from forests connected to deforestation and degradation, due to the assurances it provides through third-party verification.

She also admitted that “while voluntary certification does not bring direct compliance with the EUDR”, as it requires companies to undergo a due diligence process, “PEFC certification will help facilitate companies’ compliance with the EUDR”.

PEFC chain of custody certified companies and PEFC certified forest owners will soon be able to benefit from “our practical solutions to enable them to successfully implement EUDR”.

In conclusion, Ms Sinclair made it clear that “at PEFC, we take a holistic approach in how we manage our forests sustainably.

“PEFC certification takes into account numerous environmental, social and economic considerations, while at the same time addressing the EUDR’s key focus – deforestation and legality of wood”.


  • Ken Hickson

    Ken Hickson is a journalist/editor/author with 60 years' experience in Media in Asia Pacific, with a strong focus on sustainable forestry, mass engineered timber, and drawing attention to deforestation, illegal logging, and out of control forest fires. He is also a Wood Central Southeast Asia contributor.


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