On 19 April 2023, the European Parliament approved the regulation on deforestation-free products which:
- prohibits the placement of a number of agricultural and livestock products originating from deforested or degraded forest areas on the EU market;
- is part of European Green Deal;
- bloks imports associated with deforestation, particularly cattle (whether live, meat or leather), cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy, timber and rubber.
Now it is expected the endorsement by the European Council. The regulation will effectively be implemented 18 months after it comes into force. During this period, the European Commission will adopt implementing acts enabling member states and their respective customs authorities to apply the regulation, and also initiate country risk benchmarking procedures.
From a customs compliance perspective, it means that the economic operators have to implement internal trade compliance checks to avoid any infringments of the coming regulation on deforestation-free products. To fullfill this obligation, the AEO approach is very recommended.