The Twenty-seven countries of the European Union have approved this Wednesday the new law that limits the incorporation of third countries into the community market in which products such as palm oil, beef, wood, coffee, cocoa or soy are found, which contribute to deforestation and forest degradation.
The regulations do not restrict the country or the product, but none will oblige companies to guarantee that these products are not the result of the exploitation of deforested lands or will have had in such activities as a requirement to sell them in the EU market.
In this way, the companies are in charge of verifying that these products comply with the relevant legislation of the country of production, including on human rights, and that the rights of the affected indigenous peoples have been respected. For their part, the products that are protected in this new law are cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans and wood, including products that contain, have been fed or have been made with these products. staples (such as leather, chocolate, and furniture), as well as rubber, charcoal, printed paper products, and various palm oil derivatives.
The European Commission will be in charge of classifying the countries, or parts of them, as low, standard or high risk through an objective and transparent evaluation within 18 months after the entry into force of the regulation.
Thus, products from low-risk countries will be subject to a simplified due diligence procedure, while the proportion of controls will be carried out on operators according to the country’s risk level: 9% for high-risk countries, 3% for high-risk countries. standard and 1% for low risk.
EU competent authorities will have access to relevant information provided by companies, such as geolocation coordinates, and will carry out checks with the help of satellite tracking tools and DNA analysis to check where the products come from. On the other hand, the sanctions for non-compliance will be proportionate and dissuasive and the maximum fine must be at least 4% of the total annual turnover in the EU of the infringing operator or trader.