Forest from above

Do you know the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR)?


The European Regulation Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) will come into effect on December 30, 2024. Companies have less than a year to ensure compliance. For micro-enterprises and small businesses, the deadline is set six months later, on June 25, 2025.


The serious steps began in April 2023 when the European Parliament adopted this regulation with a broad majority (552 votes in favor, 44 against, and 43 abstentions). It was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU) in June 2023.


To learn more, check out:

  • The first webinar by the French Commissariat général au développement durable (CGDD) dedicated to presenting corporate obligations (April 20, 2023);
  • The second webinar by CGDD focusing on the implementation of EUDR (November 22, 2023).





This regulation has three fundamental objectives:


  • Environmental protection, with the main focus on protecting and preserving forests;
  • Legality and sustainability: The commodities covered by the regulation must be produced in accordance with applicable international law in the national law of the country of production, and the legislation of the production country in various domains;
  • Compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).


EUDR also has three specific objectives:


  • Minimize the risk of products associated with deforestation and forest degradation entering or leaving the European market;
  • Increase the demand and trade of products and raw materials that have not caused deforestation or forest degradation;
  • Transform supply chains: increase transparency, evolve value chains to be unrelated to any sources of deforestation.





  • Coffee: roasted, decaffeinated, coffee husks, and pellicles, coffee substitutes containing coffee;
  • Cocoa: beans and broken roasted or unroasted beans, husks, pellicles, other waste, cocoa butter, fat and oil, powder, and cocoa paste, even defatted, chocolate, etc.;
  • Rubber: natural, natural rubber analogs in various forms, mixed rubber, yarns and cords, belts, tires, etc.;
  • Products from oil palm: including its nuts and almonds, palm oil and kernel oil, cake, various acids, glycerol, etc.;
  • Soy: beans, bean flour, oil and refined or unrefined fractions, cake, etc.;
  • Beef: fresh, frozen, or refrigerated meat, edible offal, leather and hides, etc.;
  • Wood: raw, for heating, in various forms, and all its derivatives, such as printed paper, wood wool, particle boards, charcoal, furniture, tools, etc.


For a more detailed list of all these derivative products, you can refer to page 38 of the regulation (downloadable in all EU languages).


Companies will need to prove that the production of these products complies with the law of the country where it took place. They must also demonstrate that this production has not caused deforestation or forest degradation since December 31, 2020, the reference date, known as the "cut-off" date. It corresponds to existing international commitments:


  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, New York Declaration on Forests;
  • European Commission actions: communication titled "Stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world's forests," the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and the Farm to Fork Strategy.


As EUDR is a regulation, it must be uniformly adopted by all EU member states, unlike a directive, which requires transposition into national law.


Periodic reviews of the text will take place, presumably after 1 year, 2 years, and then 5 years, to include other wooded lands and biodiversity-rich systems such as peatlands, potentially integrate the financial sector, corn, and palm oil biofuels into its scope.





After the implementation of EUDR, only products that meet the following conditions can be imported into the European Union or exported from the European Union:

  • Products free from deforestation, defined by the regulation as the "conversion, anthropogenic or not, of the forest for agricultural use." In other words, products must not contain, be fed with, or be manufactured/produced (1) from materials from deforested lands after December 31, 2021 (2). For wood products, they must come from forests exploited without degradation after this same date.
  • Products manufactured/produced in accordance with the legislation of the production country, respecting land use rights, environmental protection, forestry regulations, labor law, human rights, third-party rights, the principle of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) including in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and taxation, trade, customs regulations, and anti-corruption efforts. The scope of EUDR goes beyond forestry regulations alone.
  • Products that have undergone due diligence declaration. Distributors and traders of the relevant products will be required, by examining their supply chain, to prove the absence of deforestation risk or demonstrate the control of this risk. Three main steps are necessary: information collection, risk assessment based on this information, and demonstration of risk control, if any, through the implementation of measures and actions. Due diligence declarations will be recorded on an official digital platform.





Every two months until December 30, 2024, around sixty stakeholders, including EU member states, gather in a dedicated deforestation platform, representing all sectors.


Under the presidency of the European Commission, they assess progress in the implementation of the text and respond to questions. Applications for all sectors could be submitted before September 2023.


See the list of all sectors


If your organization is concerned with the implementation of ERDFD, you can contact your sector representative, who will relay your questions and suggestions to the Commission. Also note that the European Commission has published a detailed FAQ, last updated in December 2023.


In addition to this platform, an informal working group brings together representatives from EU member states. Their work contributes to the previously mentioned FAQ and future guidance documents.


Two working groups have also been formed, bringing together experts selected by the Commission from among the members of the platform:

  • A "Small Producers" group aiming to facilitate their preparation and integration from the application of the text (their first meeting took place in December 2023);
  • A "Traceability" group to meet for the first time in early 2024.

The results of their work will be shared on the platform.


Various tools are planned:

  • A guidance document currently being prepared, scheduled for publication in 2024. It will provide detailed explanations to facilitate the implementation of the text (including possibly sector-specific guidance, as mentioned by the Commission);
  • Specific guidelines on agricultural use, to be released in late 2024 or early 2025;
  • An information system, an interface where due diligence declarations will be recorded. A pilot test took place in December 2023 with a hundred companies, and others are planned (interested companies should express their interest to their platform representative, then a selection will be made by the Commission);
  • Training on the use of the due diligence declaration recording interface.





As part of the aforementioned preparatory work, a European Forest Observatory is being created in compliance with EUDR. This observatory includes several components, including:


  • Satellite monitoring of global forest cover from 2020, allowing the identification of deforestation phenomena in the short, medium, and long term;
  • Information on trade flows, detailing the nature, volume, and direction of flows of products and by-products between countries and regions.
  • Various forest monitoring tools, including quasi-real-time analysis of time series of satellite data, analysis of landscape structure, distribution of tree species in Europe, etc.


The first maps from the European Forest Observatory are available since December 2023.


In conclusion, note the upcoming deadlines at the end of 2024: the publication of the assessment of countries and regions at risk. It should be emphasized that no country or area is currently in this category. At the national level in France, a competent authority was designated at the end of 2023, and work is underway to align its responsibilities with the relevant state services.


The first checks will start in 2025, and all companies must be ready. EVEA's Social Footprints team is here to inform and support you in your projects related to this regulation. This includes analyzing your supply chain or chains, identifying risks related to deforestation and non-compliance with national environmental and social legislation, whether through a social life cycle analysis or other methods. ■


Pauline Roignant, Watch Manager at EVEA



(1) The production date corresponds to the harvest date. For animals, it corresponds to the animal's lifespan, including slaughter (this information must be known and transparent for all breeding locations).

(2) Data must be kept for 5 years.

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