Exports unlikely to be impacted by EU deforestation law

Exports unlikely to be impacted by EU deforestation law

India’s exports to the European Union (EU) are unlikely to get impacted by a legislation that the 27-member bloc adopted on Tuesday on deforestation-free products, officials said. However, New Delhi will work on mutual recognition of certification with the EU as India’s afforestation performance is better than many countries and its forest cover has risen over the years.

The legislation seeks to prohibit products such as palm oil, coffee, cattle, cocoa, rubber, soya, timber, printing paper and derived products in the EU, that came from land that was deforested after December 31, 2020. The rules cover imports and domestic production.

“Our companies are better compliant with rigorous processes. Our forest cover has also gone up,” said an official.

As per India State of Forest Report, 2021, the total forest and tree cover saw an increase of 15,292 sq km from 2015.

India’s total exports to the EU in FY23 were worth $74.8 billion and imports were worth $59.8 billion. Coffee, tea and spices exports to the EU were worth $640.9 million last fiscal.

“We need to work out the process so that value chains and certification don’t get impacted as they are yet to define it,” the official said, adding this will be important so that India’s agricultural and food exports such as coffee do not get impacted.

Countries need to certify that no primary forests have been diverted in products entering the EU, according to the law.

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