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Environment

Regulation on Deforestation-free products

EU rules to guarantee that the products EU citizens consume do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation worldwide.

Overview

By promoting the consumption of ‘deforestation-free’ products and reducing the EU’s impact on global deforestation and forest degradation, the new Regulation (EU) 2023/1115 on deforestation-free products is expected to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.

The Regulation is part of a broader plan of actions to tackle deforestation and forest degradation first outlined in the 2019 Commission Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests. This commitment was later confirmed by the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Farm to Fork Strategy.

Background

On 29 June 2023, the Regulation on deforestation-free products entered into force. The main driver of these processes is the expansion of agricultural land that is linked to the production of commodities like cattle, wood, cocoa, soy, palm oil, coffee, rubber, and some of their derived products, such as leather, chocolate, tyres, or furniture. As a major economy and consumer of these commodities linked to deforestation and forest degradation, the EU is partly responsible for this problem and it wants to lead the way to solving it. 

Under the Regulation, any operator or trader who places these commodities on the EU market, or exports from it, must be able to prove that the products do not originate from recently deforested land or have contributed to forest degradation. 

The Regulation on deforestation-free products repeals the EU Timber Regulation. As of 29 June 2023, operators and traders will have 18 months to implement the new rules. Micro and small enterprises will enjoy a longer adaptation period, as well as other specific provisions.

Objectives

The new rules aim to

  • avoid that the listed products Europeans buy, use and consume contribute to deforestation and forest degradation in the EU and globally
  • reduce carbon emissions caused by EU consumption and production of the relevant commodities by at least 32 million metric tonnes a year
  • address all deforestation driven by agricultural expansion to produce the commodities in the scope of the regulation, as well as forest degradation

Implementation

The EU is continuing to work with partner countries and companies to ensure a successful transition to deforestation-free supply chains. The implementation of the Regulation is facilitated by the following implementation tools:

Find out more about these measures and tools

Further information can be found in the comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions.

Publications

Impact Assessment ‘Minimising the risk of deforestation and forest degradation associated with products placed on the EU market’:

Fitness Check on the EU Timber Regulation and the FLEGT Regulation

A Fitness Check of the EUTR and the FLEGT Regulation was performed in 2021 to evaluate their implementation and functioning, and assess if they were fit for purpose to halt illegal logging and associated trade.

Find out more about the Fitness Check