The new anti-deforestation regulation (EUDR) explained

The new anti-deforestation regulation (EUDR) explained

Hurray, the EUDR is here! Did you know that between 1990 and 2020, about 420 million hectares of forests were lost, which is roughly 100 times the size of the Netherlands? And that deforestation is responsible for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions? Time to do something about that, right? This is where the EUDR comes in.

What is EUDR?

The EUDR is a European regulation introduced to combat large-scale deforestation worldwide. Deforestation occurs due to logging, of course, but forests are also cleared to make way for the cultivation of other materials.

From the end of December 2024, products containing materials that contribute to deforestation must comply with the new rules. This means that as a company, you must prove that your products are deforestation-free.

The raw materials that cause deforestation

There are seven major raw materials that cause deforestation. If you import, process, or sell any of these raw materials, the EUDR probably applies to you as well.

  1. Palm oil
  2. Cattle and cattle products
  3. Wood
  4. Cocoa
  5. Soy
  6. Coffee (beans)
  7. Rubber

The products you make from these raw materials can also be subject to regulations. Think, for example, of leather, meat, paper, chocolate and wooden furniture.

Does EUDR apply to all companies?

Everyone, from individual entrepreneurships to multinationals, who produce, import (into the EU), or export (to countries outside the EU) any of the aforementioned raw materials (or products made from them) must comply with the EUDR IF these products have a HS/GS Code that is a part of Annex 1 in the following list (English version). So, it probably applies to you as well. Still in doubt? You can quickly check it here (in Dutch).

Note: if you have a small or medium-sized enterprise, the obligations are delayed until 30 June 2025 and are a little less complicated.

So what do you need to do?

There are several tasks ahead of you. For example, you need to:

  • Collect information about where the products come from.
  • Gather information about the producers and traders in the supply chain. In the case of leather, for example, you need to know where the cow was born, where it grazed, and where it was slaughtered.
  • Provide documents and declarations to Customs.

It can be tricky to determine what you should take into account. For instance, if you import a leather bag, it doesn’t not fall under the regulation, but if you import leather hides to make a leather bag it does. Or if you import a car that has leather seats and rubber tires, it’s also out of scope. This is all dependent on HS codes, these codes are used by customs to differentiate products being imported into the EU. 

We understand that you might not know where to start. However, it’s very important that you do start. Not only because you have to comply with the rules, but also because forests are super valuable. They support biodiversity, capture CO2 from the air, and provide income for many people who live there.

The good news: you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself. We’re here to help. Just drop us a message and we’ll get your company to comply with the EUDR before the deadline strikes. Promised.