VCN – To concretize its commitments to “stop and reverse” deforestation and land degradation, Europe has passed bills to ban the import of items related to deforestation. Accordingly, importers and exporters will have to trace the origin of imported products sold on the European market, whether they are produced in areas with deforestation or not.
|Consults to improve the value of Vietnamese coffee|
|Coffee industry seeks to weather COVID-19 crisis|
|Shortly, the EU will issue some guidance, but countries must also be prepared to take control oftheir supply chains. Photo: Nguyen Thanh|
Small and medium enterprises will be delayed for another 6 months
Earlier, on April 19, the European Parliament (EP) approved a new law banning the import of goods related to deforestation to boost global efforts to combat climate change. Accordingly, the new Law will apply to coffee, cocoa, soybeans, sawn timber, palm oil, cattle meat, printing paper and rubber, and derivative products from countries worldwide. As a result, products in this group involved in deforestation will be banned from being imported into the EU. In addition, businesses exporting such products to Europe will have to provide product certification.
Specifically, businesses are required to provide in-depth due diligence and verifiable information that their products were not grown or cared for on vacant land acquired through deforestation after 2020. EU authorities will conduct checks according to the exporting country’s risk rating. Violating businesses will be severely fined, which can be fined up to 4% of annual turnover in an EU member state. However, even though it has been passed, the new EP law still needs consensus from EU countries before it can officially take effect. After EU approval, businesses will have 18 to 24 months to implement the regulations.
Talking about the latest information from the EU on the preparation steps to implement the EU’s non-deforestation goods regulation, Mr Rui Ludovino, First Counselor in charge of Policy on Climate, Environment, Employment and Social issues – The EU Delegation to Vietnam, said that the new Law was introduced to eliminate factors that encourage deforestation in the supply chains of many everyday consumer products in Europe. According to the plan, around December 2024 or January 2025, the bill to ban the import of agricultural products with production processes that reduce the forest area will take effect. Particularly for small and medium enterpriseswill be delayed for another 6 months after this deadline.
Orientation for sustainable development along the value chain
According to Mr Rui Ludovino, the wood and coffee industry will be greatly affected by EU regulations. However, the fact that Vietnam is implementing the Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the EU to create a legal framework for wood products and wood products exported by Vietnam and the EU (VPA/FLEGT Agreement), including legal regulations, on the sustainable development of the timber industry will be Vietnam’s strong point, allowing Vietnam to have a forest governance process. This is an important basis of Vietnam’s wood industry that other industries, such as rubber and coffee, can follow.
“Shortly, the EU will issue some guidance, but countries must also be prepared to take control oftheir supply chains. Thanks to forest protection policies, Vietnam is not at too high risk of deforestation. But Vietnam needs to strengthen more in the supply chain so that Vietnamese agricultural products can penetrate deeper into the EU market,” saidMr Rui Ludovino.
Mr Tran Quang Bao, Director of the Department of Forestry (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), said that agricultural farming is considered one of the major land-using industries. The current expansion of land for agricultural development in the world is the main cause of deforestation and the shrinking of forest land. Against this backdrop, more than 140 countries covering 90% of the world’s forests are also signatories to the Glasgow Declaration on Forest and Land Use, pledging to “prevent and reverse” deforestation and land degradation by 2030. At the same time, it brings about sustainable development and promotes inclusive rural transformation.
“The production and trade of agricultural products must be oriented towards sustainable development along the value chain. Accordingly, the area need not be expanded,but the quality and value of products are increased, enhancing the community’s livelihoods. At the same time, strengthen exchanges, discussions and learn from international partners about good practices to build a roadmap for the development of Vietnam’s agricultural products in a sustainable way without causing deforestation shortly”, Mr Bao said.
By Xuan Thao/Bui Diep