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Should the EUDR be Delayed?

Should the EUDR be Delayed?

The EUDR’s proposed enforcement is set to start on December 30, 2024. As this date draws nearer, many industries are facing a compliance crisis.

On one side of the debate, producers worldwide have questioned the regulation. Many trade organizations and businesses alike say it is unclear, unreasonable, and, in some cases, unattainable by the enforcement date.

On the other hand, the European Commission (EC) has said it has no backup plan for EUDR delays. At the time of this blog, the legislation does not look to delay past the announced date.

Should this rigid deadline remain absolute? Or should the EC offer at least some form of relief in the new reporting standards?

A Quick Overview of the EUDR

Last June, the European Union's Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) was officially launched. It aims to curb the negative effects of the EU market on global deforestation and forest degradation.

It also seeks several other aspects:

  • Move supply chains toward becoming deforestation-free
  • Minimize greenhouse gas emissions
  • Safeguard global human rights

Major corporations operating within the forest products market will be directly impacted by the regulation. They will be required to provide evidence that their goods have not been sourced from areas that have recently undergone deforestation or contributed to forest degradation.

Read More: Understanding the EUDR: A Guide to Compliance for Forest Products Professionals

Multiple US Trade Organizations Call for Extended EUDR Date

According to a report from the Financial Times, multiple US agency representatives wrote a letter expressing their concerns to the EC. They collectively warned of the "critical challenges" the EUDR will have on US-based producers.

As they stated:

“We therefore urge the European Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties until these substantial challenges have been addressed.”

(Source: Financial Times)

US Forest Products Industry Reiterates Compliance Hardship

Those within the US forestry and pulp and paper industries have expressed similar concerns about the overwhelming challenges of meeting EUDR requirements.

As the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) stated recently, the EUDR in its current form will create an impossible situation for many businesses to follow. Further technical requirements amplify the challenge even more. This would put forest products trade between Europe and America, worth well above $3.5 billion, at risk.

Several US-based timber merchants have stated that they may have no choice but to cease all European-based commerce.

A group of eight American organizations with ties to the wood industry has collectively penned a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission Head. They have requested at least a two-year delay on EUDR compliance.

The group is comprised of the following organizations:

  • The National Alliance of Forest Owners
  • The Forest Resources Association
  • The American Wood Council
  • The Decorative Hardwoods Association
  • The Hardwood Federation
  • The American Forest & Paper Association
  • The American Hardwood Export Council
  • The US Industrial Pellet Association

The letter argued that a regulation as broad and significant as the EUDR requires careful implementation and proper scrutiny. An additional two-year period would provide both regulatory bodies and producers the time they need. This will allow them to better assess and plan for the significant adjustments that will be needed across the sector to adhere to the law.

The organizations acknowledged the critically important role healthy forests play within the forestry industry. They also reiterated their commitment to sustainable operations in US-based forest management.

US companies are already a global forerunner in sustainable forest management and the manufacturing of forest products. Accordingly, the letter said that the US is already achieving the goals set out by the EUDR.

The letter pointed out that data from the EU's observatory on deforestation and forest degradation show minimal negative effects in the US. A two-year delay would, therefore, not lead to any additional degradation or deforestation in the country.

Moving Forward Despite Concerns

It is unsurprising that so many businesses have reacted so strongly to regulations as intense and far-reaching as the EUDR.

While doubts and concerns about the regulation are very real, businesses must proceed assuming the December 30, 2024 enforcement date is real. Otherwise, they risk serious harm to their business potential, value chain relationships, and more.

Get Critical EUDR Information from Our Free On-Demand Webinar

If EUDR compliance has you concerned for your business, you’re not alone. Fortunately, ResourceWise can help.

Our On-Demand webinar, Navigating the EUDR: Preparing for the Regulation and Its Impacts, offers a direct look into the EUDR and its implications for the forest products industry and beyond. Topics include:

  • Understanding the EUDR
  • Key Timelines and Implementation
  • Impacts on Wood Exporters
  • The Future of Woody Biomass as a Biofuel Feedstock

Use the button below to learn more and view the webinar.

Explore On-Demand EUDR Webinar