Since 2013, FSC has been involved in the work that finally brought the EUDR to fruition in 2023. Now it is helping its stakeholders become compliant with this new forestry regulation.
Companies selling forest-based commodities within the European Union (EU) and those exporting from this market have until December 2024 to become compliant with the EU’s Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR). For small and micro enterprises, there is an additional six months’ grace period to meet the legal requirements.
The EUDR is a landmark law because its rules go beyond legality to cover sustainability. It shows that policymakers finally see the true value of forests and the critical ecosystem services they provide to mitigate climate change and halt biodiversity loss. Under the EUDR, sellers must prove that their products are not sourced from recently deforested land and do not contribute to forest degradation. It is a complex task that FSC is empowering its stakeholders to navigate successfully.
How FSC can help
While FSC certification does not automatically exempt companies from EUDR obligations, it offers them clear guidance and access to much-needed technologies – allowing them to effectively collect and process data to streamline their compliance journey.
There are six core EUDR requirements that companies must meet:
- Comply with the Legal Conditions.
- Comply with Social Protection measures.
- Prove that your products are Deforestation- and Degradation-Free.
- Provide Geolocation data to show your material’s provenance.
- Show Traceability of your product across the supply chain life cycle.
- Adhere to Risk Assessment rules to formulate appropriate Risk Mitigation strategies.
As the most credible global sustainable forestry solution, FSC offers its stakeholders robust certifications that already deliver on numerous EUDR requirements. FSC certification is already fully compatible with EUDR Legal Conditions and Social Protection measures, which cover fair wages and safe working conditions in a way that upholds the rights of forest workers.
Looking ahead, FSC is developing a new solution, ‘EUDR Aligned’, set to be released by June 2024 to ensure stakeholders can fully comply within the timeframe. This solution will guide stakeholders through the due-diligence process and will include a set of integrated tools to make it easier to comply in a clear three-step approach.
The FSC Regulatory Module, a crucial component of EUDR Aligned, will add an additional layer to FSC’s already rigorous standards. This will ensure alignment with EUDR’s specific requirements for showing products are Deforestation- and Degradation-Free. The solution’s Risk Management Framework will complement FSC’s existing comprehensive risk assessments. It will introduce new measures to align with specific EUDR requirements around Risk Assessment and Mitigation, relieving both FSC-certified and non-certified operators from significant effort. Both tools are nearing completion.
FSC is also working diligently on innovative, user-friendly technologies for field-testing that many companies, especially smallholders, do not have access to. With EUDR Aligned, this will no longer be a concern for any stakeholder as these tools will form part of the solution. Strengthening these technologies is currently underway:
- As part of the technology stack within the existing FSC GIS Portal, satellite imagery and geographic information system (GIS) mapping are being extended to provide boundary data that meets the EUDR geolocation requirements.
- The FSC Blockchain solution is also being extended to offer supply chain traceability in line with EUDR requirements.
FSC is a trusted partner
FSC is proud to have collaborated with EU policymakers, scientists, forest owners, Indigenous leaders, and progressive companies in a journey that began in 2013.
2013 & 2014: FSC supports the EUTR
- March 2013: The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) comes into force to fight illegal logging and deforestation. Leveraging innovative technologies like Wood ID and Blockchain, FSC helped operators meet EUTR requirements in a way that moved beyond legality to include sustainability. This is important because this pioneering approach has paved the way for FSC’s focus on the EUDR, allowing it to be at the grassroots level of its evolution, as the EUTR was repealed to make way for today’s more robust, comprehensive regulation.
- 2014: FSC becomes a member of the EU Commission Expert Group/Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Protecting and Restoring the World’s Forests. This illustrates the trust put in FSC as a credible authority in sustainable forestry.
2020 – 2023: FSC lobbies for the EUDR
- 2020: FSC joins the WWF Global campaign to advocate for stronger EU law against deforestation. This call to action was the catalyst that piqued the attention of the European Commission (EC).
- November 2021: EC adopts a proposal for a regulation on deforestation-free products, which FSC comments on by sharing 10 suggestions to strengthen it.
- November 2022: FSC joins a group of civil society members from the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) to sign a letter advocating for the inclusion of rubber within the regulation’s scope. Its inclusion in the EUDRshows the strength of organizations like FSC in affecting impactful policy.
- December 2022: EU agrees on the Regulation on deforestation-free products. In response, FSC publishes a statement highlighting its support.
- June 2023: FSC announces that the landmark EU anti-deforestation regulation (EUDR) has entered into force.
A vision for forests unites FSC and the EUDR in their shared mission. FSC has been a firm advocate for the EUDR for the past decade, playing a critical role in bringing this regulation to life alongside a strong group of stakeholders. As such, FSC has a firm grasp of the regulation, putting us in the best position to help stakeholders seamlessly reach compliance through EUDR Aligned.