22 December 2022

EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products: Operational Guidance for Cocoa Producers and Importers

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EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products: Operational Guidance for Cocoa Producers and Importers

For cocoa placed on the EU market to be considered ‘deforestation-free’, it must have been produced on land that has not been subject to deforestation after 31 December 2020 . Thus, to evidence compliance with these requirements, cocoa operators and traders must set up and implement a Deforestation Due Diligence (DDD) process.

Additionally, to be compliant with the EU proposed deforestation-free regulation, cocoa must have been produced in accordance with the relevant legislation of the country of production (both national and international). ‘Relevant legislation of the country of production’ means the "rules applicable in the country of production concerning the legal status of the area of production in terms of land use rights, environmental protection, third parties’ rights and relevant trade and customs regulations under legislation framework applicable in the country of production".

Any cocoa or derived cocoa products placed on the EU market are covered by the regulation. It applies to all operators and traders placing cocoa products on the EU market or exporting products from the EU market (regardless of their size, their legal status, or whether they are EU or non-EU companies).    Importantly, implementation of DDD should be accompanied by the adoption and application of the appropriate environmental and social safeguards to mitigate any negative impact on farmers.

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