EU political agreement reached on EU driven deforestation and forest degradation

17 DECEMBER 2022

On 6 December a political agreement between the EU Parliament and Council on the EU Regulation on deforestation-free supply chains was announced.

The Regulation will see all relevant companies having to conduct strict due diligence if they place on the EU market, or export from it: palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber as well as derived products (such as beef, furniture, or chocolate). These commodities have been chosen on the basis of a thorough impact assessment identifying them as the main drivers of deforestation due to agricultural expansion.

The list of commodities that are covered will be regularly reviewed and updated, taking into account new data such as changing deforestation patterns.

Companies will also be required to collect precise geographical information on the farmland where the commodities that they source have been grown, so that these commodities can be checked for compliance. Member States need to make sure that not complying with the rules leads to effective and dissuasive penalties.

The Commission will run a benchmarking system that will assess countries or parts thereof and their level of risk of deforestation and forest degradation - a high, standard or low risk - also taking into consideration agricultural expansion for the production of the seven commodities and derived products. Obligations for companies will depend on the level of risk.

Next steps

The European Parliament and the Council will now formally have to adopt the new Regulation before it can enter into force. Once the Regulation is in force, operators and traders will have 18 months to implement the new rules. Micro and small enterprises will enjoy a longer adaptation period, as well as other specific provisions.

More information:

Contact: Lebo Mofolo,