17 Like-Minded Countries Convey Official Concern Regarding the EUDR

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Brussels, Belgium – The 17 like-minded countries (LMCs) conveyed the Second Joint Letter to the EU’s top brass. The Joint Letter was signed by the Ambassadors of the 17 LMCs as follow: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, and Thailand (07/09).

The Joint Letter expresses producing countries’ concern on the recent entry into force of the European Union’s regulation on deforestation-free products (EUDR) on 29th June 2023. This regulation disregards local circumstances and capabilities, national legislations, certification mechanisms, their efforts to fight deforestation, and multilateral commitments of producer countries, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. It also establishes an inherently discriminatory and punitive unilateral benchmarking system that is potentially inconsistent with WTO obligations.

The Joint Letter requested the EU to consider producing countries concerns while formulating the implementing acts and guidelines of the EUDR. The producing countries encourage the EU Leaders to intensify engagement with producing countries in formulating clear and detailed implementing acts and guidelines for the EUDR, including differentiated compliance and due diligence regimes for commodities and products from smallholders in producing countries.

The joint letter encapsulates various courses of action that shall be considered by the EU when moving forward with this legislation. Among others:

  • Engage in a more meaningful and open dialogue with producing countries than what has been ventured so far.
  • Acknowledge the efforts made by producing countries to improve their livelihood and sustainability practices as well as the significant challenges faced by them regarding limited access to financing schemes, new technologies, and technical training and assistance.
  • Mitigates EUDR’s harmful impacts through implementation guidelines that adequately value the current, as well as developing local sustainable practices in agricultural value chains.
  • Avoid trade disruption including the excessive administrative burden related to the geolocation and traceability requirements, certifications, and customs procedures.

The signatory countries also raise that the EU’s “one-size-fits-all” approach, implemented through due diligence and traceability model will impose immense cost on exporting and importing countries that may even produce adverse effects such as increased poverty, diversion of resources, and hindrance of the attainment of SDGs.

Source: Kemlu