European Union to ban imports of deforestation-related products

deforestationOn 6 December 2022, the European Parliament reached an agreement with EU member States regarding a new law banning the import of products that contribute to deforestation.

The new regulations apply to cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy and wood. Other associated materials such as leather, chocolate, furniture... are also targeted.

Importing companies must prove that the goods they sell in Europe have not contributed to deforestation or forest degradation anywhere in the world after 31 December 2020.

To verify the origin of products, the competent authorities will have access to information provided by importers such as crop geo-location data. They will also be able to use satellite monitoring tools and DNA analysis.

Through its imports, Europe accounted for 16% of global deforestation in 2017, making it the second largest destroyer of tropical forests after China (24%).

In the coming years, the new regulation's scope will be extended to other threatened woodland ecosystems and to other products such as corn.

This could also impact the financial sector, through the obligation to refuse the financing of activities associated with deforestation.

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