circular economy,  compliance e AEO

New EU regulation on deforestation and forest degradation products free: a short introduction

On 9 June 2023 the EU regulation 2023/1115 “on the making available on the Union market and the export from the Union of certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation and repealing Regulation (EU) No 995/2010” has been published in the EU official journal.

Some of the key-concepts of this legal source are:

  • according to FAO (food and agricolture organization) the deforestation and forest degradation are taking place at an alarming rate;
  • Deforestation and forest degradation contribute to the global climate crisis in multiple ways;
  • Climate breakdown induces the loss of biodiversity globally and biodiversity loss aggravates climate change;
  • Biodiversity is essential for the resilience of ecosystems and their services both at local and at global level;
  • Combating deforestation and forest degradation constitutes an important part of the package of measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to comply with the Union’s commitments ( European Green Deal, Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change- the ‘Paris Agreement’, the Eighth Environment Action Programme adopted by Decision (EU) 2022/591, Regulation (EU) 2021/1119)
  • The principles set out in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of the UN, in particular, Principle 10 concerning the importance of public awareness and participation in environmental issues and Principle 22 concerning the vital role of indigenous people in environmental management and development, are important in the context of securing sustainable forest management;
  • it is necessary to set up an interoperable electronic interface that enables the automatic transfer of data between customs systems and the information systems of competent authorities. The European Union Single Window Environment for Customs is the natural candidate to enable such data transfer. The interface should be highly automated and easy-to-use, and should facilitate processes for customs authorities and operators;
  • In cases where the risk analysis of the due diligence statements reveals a high risk of non-compliance of specific relevant products, the competent authorities should be able to take immediate interim measures to prevent the placing or making available on the market or the export of those products;
  • Member States should have the power to withdraw and recall non-compliant products and take appropriate corrective actions. They should also ensure that infringements of this Regulation by operators and traders are subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties.

The EU regulation 2023/1115 lays down that commodities and products are not be placed or made available on the market or exported, unless all the following conditions are fulfilled:

(a) they are deforestation-free;

(b) they have been produced in accordance with the relevant legislation of the country of production; and

(c) they are covered by a due diligence statement.

Moreover, the regulation lists: a) obligation of operators and traders; b) obligation of EU member states and their competent authorities; c) procedures for relevant products entering or leaving the market; d) country benchmark system and cooperation with third countries; e) substanties concerns; d) information system;

According to its article 38, this regulation enters into force:


  • on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;
  • Articles 3 (prohibition) to 13 (obligation of operators and traders) and articles 16 (Obligation to carry out checks) to 24 ( Corrective action in the event of non-compliance)and articles 26(Controls ), 31 (Natural or legal persons’ substantiated concerns)and 32 (Access to justice)shall apply from 30 December 2024;
  • Except as regards the products covered in the annex to Regulation (EU) No 995/2010, for operators that by 31 December 2020 were established as micro-undertakings or small undertakings pursuant to article 3(1) or (2) of Directive 2013/34/EU, respectively, the articles referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall apply from 30 June 2025.

Finally, the internal monitoring and the checks required for the AEO could support very well the economic operator in ensuring the full compliance with this new regulation. AEO authorization is essencially based on the concept of “focused/specific/qualified care for the internal processes  and both the customs operations and legal framework. Ongoing monitoring and risk assessment are needed for the AEO)