Trade associations have raised concerns about the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) information system with European Commission (EC) president Ursula von der Leyen, Bioenergy Europe reported on its website.

In their letter to von der Leyen on 17 May, European trade association Bioenergy Europe and 12 other organisations including EU trade association for cereals, rice, feedstuffs, oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats (COCERAL), EU feed manufacturers’ federation (FEFAC) and EU vegetable oil and protein meal industry association (FEDIOL) called on her to take urgent action to tackle key gaps affecting the functioning of the supply chain.

The other organisations were: COTANCE which represents the European leather industry; the European Cocoa Association (ECA); the European Coffee Federation (ECF); the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA); Eurocommerce which represents the retail and wholesale sectors in Europe; the European State Forest Association EUSTAFOR and FoodDrinkEurope which represents the European Food and Drink Industry.

Although the signatories said they supported the EUDR’s objectives, they said it required “significant adjustments” from suppliers, operators and traders to meet its obligations.

“The importance of the EUDR implementation challenge, the urgency of the matter, given the implementation timeline, and the impact that an inoperable Information System will have for the EUDR, leads us to bring this to your attention,” the letter said.

The last deforestation platform meeting on 24 April had not reassured the sector’s stakeholders, and the technical specifications of the Information System and the timeline for making it accessible to all operators and traders still raised serious concerns, the associations said.

In the letter, the signatories called for:

  1. A second round of testing with the business community
  2. Making the Application Programming Interface (API) specifications ready as of May for business to prepare
  3. Lifting the 25MB limitation or substantially increasing file size for uploading files as part of the due diligence statement
  4. Accepting other data formats in addition to the GeoJson standard
  5. Opening up the information system for all users as soon as possible and, at the very latest, at the beginning of November

Bioenergy Europe is a European trade association open to national biomass associations and bioenergy companies active in Europe.

Aimed at promoting the consumption of deforestation-free products within the EU to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, the EUDR was adopted by the European Parliament in 2023 and will come into force on 30 December.

Under the EUDR, any operator or trader who places soyabeans, palm oil, coffee, cattle, cocoa, wood and rubber or their derived products on the EU market must be able to prove that the products do not originate from land deforested since 2020 or have contributed to forest degradation. They will also have to provide precise geographical information on the land where these commodities have been grown.