Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru and Thailand have signed a joint letter to the EU urging it to maintain a constructive dialogue with producer countries.
Following the EUDR's entry into force on June 29, these countries are writing their concerns, particularly regarding the risk assessment system. As a reminder, the European Commission will classify countries, or certain regions, as low, standard or high risk through an assessment within 18 months of the regulation coming into force. Products from low-risk countries will be subject to a simplified due diligence procedure, while the proportion of checks on operators will depend on the country's level of risk. However, the 17 countries signing the letter fear that the Regulation does not take sufficient account of local economic and social conditions, when small producers are already the most vulnerable.
Through this letter, they stress the need not to neglect these small producers, to give them special support if the new regulation is to be fully effective, and to recognize the efforts already made in recent years by producer countries to preserve their forests.
This is also what the ATIBT is advocating in the case of tropical timber: the EUDR represents a good opportunity for players committed to responsible practices to assert this commitment, and when well-constructed and attentive to production conditions and local contexts, the EUDR has every chance of being successful. Provided that producers are properly supported, that a constructive dialogue is established with them, and that initiatives such as sustainable management certification are taken into account. If all timber were certified as sustainably managed, there would be no need for EUDR.