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Published - 2024/03/11

Forest Industry

Decoding the EUDR: Our message at Tissue World Miami

It was a pleasure to speak on the hot topic of the European Regulation on Deforestation-free products (EUDR) at Tissue World Miami at the beginning of February, together with Marcus Hellberg, SCA’s Sales Director, Italy and Austria.

Decoding the EUDR Our message at Tissue World Miami

We were addressing the tissue industry at this event, but it’s clear that the EUDR will affect all forest products and anyone trading them with the European market. Navigating the practical and commercial realties of this far-reaching legislation is looking far from easy. Stakeholders are awaiting further guidelines from the European Commission, and there is a distinct possibility that a change of tone is coming to the Parliament, with elections this year pointing to a dilution of green policies and voices. However, ignoring the issue in the hope of change or delay is a risky strategy. Preparation, as always, is key. If you’re interested in a copy of the full presentation, contact us.

Our five key take-aways as of February 2024:

  • The idea: We’re all agreed that the principles of the EUDR, to curb global deforestation and forest degradation, are sound. The industry’s concern is compliance.

  • The affected: All wood and wood-derived products are included, anyone who buys from or sells to the European market will be affected. This is a law from Europe with global reach.

  • The problem: In its current form, the detailed traceability aspect of the legislation is extremely challenging to the point of unworkable for complex value chains such as paper. If enforced as currently planned, expect supply chain disruption and complaints of EU protectionism.

  • The cost: The EUDR could prove expensive to administer. Who will take responsibility for collecting and securing data? How expensive will it be and who will pay? Clarity is needed and traceability solutions still need to be found. Guidelines have yet to emerge.

  • The future: Much remains to be done in terms of workability. Smaller players and non-EU competitiveness concerns are mounting. The impact on third-party certification schemes is unclear. EU elections later this year look likely to result in a more conservative Parliament with a loss of influence for the Greens which might affect implementation and enforcement timelines. Watch this space.

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