EUDR Geolocation: The Practical Implications Raise Several Complex Issues
The European Union’s commitment to halt global deforestation is a commendable goal. However, the geolocation requirement proposed by the EU may pose significant challenges for many companies, including those certified by organisations like PEFC and FSC. EU lawmakers might need more understanding of legal forestry practices, ownership rights, and legal and illegal harvesting complexities. This could lead to a series of issues in the forestry industry.
One major concern is how long operators must comply with the geolocation requirement. The lengthy adaptation period could lead to widespread manipulation of documents and, even worse, a significant reduction in the export of sawn timber and timber products to the EU. As a result, the EU might rely more on materials like metal, concrete, and plastic, which have well-documented environmental drawbacks.
While not a legal expert, alternative approaches to address these concerns are worth considering. One such suggestion is for organisations like PEFC and FSC, along with leading international bodies such as ATIBT, AHEC, ETTF, MTC, and others, to collaborate and consider the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the EU to challenge and potentially overturn the geolocation requirement.
In summary, while the EU’s aim to combat deforestation is laudable, the practical implications of the geolocation requirement raise several complex issues within the forestry industry. Collaboration and legal action may be necessary avenues to explore to address these concerns and find more balanced solutions that prioritise environmental sustainability without unduly burdening the timber industry.