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EU Parliament adopts law banning products from deforested lands

The European Parliament adopted on Wednesday a law that bans the export of products contributing to deforestation.

With 552 votes in favor, 44 against, and 43 abstentions, EU lawmakers approved the new act that only allows products to be sold in the EU if the supplier can prove that “the product does not come from deforested land or has led to forest degradation” by a “due diligence” statement, the EU legislative body said in a statement.

The new legislation applies to the goods of cattle, charcoal, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, rubber, soya and wood.

It also includes items that were made of, contain, or have been fed with the above-mentioned products, such as leather, chocolate, furniture, and printed paper products.

By the request of the European Parliament, companies will also have to testify that the goods were produced in line with the country’s own legislation, including the respect of human rights and protection of indigenous people.

The European Commission will set the criteria for the “due diligence” certification based on a classification of low-, standard, and high-risk deforestation in the countries of origin.

Companies that falsify the certification or fail to comply with EU rules can face a penalty of up to 4% of their annual turnover.

EU member states have yet to formally adopt the legislation.

According to the UN, over 420 million hectares of forest were cut to be used in agriculture between 1990 and 2020.

The EU’s consumption is responsible for around 10% of global deforestation.

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