27 February 2024

Unanswered questions on EUDR

With the European Commission’s new rules on products with potential links to deforestation coming into force before the end of 2024, leather industry figures in Europe have said key questions remain unanswered. Report by Leatherbiz.

Industry bodies UNIC and COTANCE revealed that they have formally asked the Commission for clarification on several points, but have still to receive answers.

The new rules are called the EU Deforestation pause Regulation (EUDR) and seek to guarantee that products in the EU that come from a list of seven commodities, including cattle, have no links to deforestation.

As things stand, larger companies in the value chain will need to have in place traceability systems that can provide these guarantees by the end of 2024. Small and medium enterprises will have to comply by the end of June 2025.

One question focuses on whether the industry will need to provide traceability information for each individual hide, or if batch-level traceability will be enough.

Another is on the level of risk of deforestation that the Commission will apply to different countries in the leather value chain.

In Milan, the vice-director of UNIC, Luca Boltri, said: “We are trying to have this discussion with the Commission and COTANCE is at the forefront of that. We are trying to make the Commission understand the effects this will have on the leather industry, and to mitigate them. But only the Commission can answer these questions.”

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