EU deforestation traceability system to launch in Nov

  • : Agriculture, Biomass, Chemicals
  • 24/04/30

The European Commission is set to unveil an information system to help with the implementation of the EU deforestation regulation (EUDR) in November, but different implementation deadlines for larger and smaller firms may constitute trading barriers in the interim, the senior policy officer at industry association Bioenergy Europe, Daniel Reinemann, told the Argus Biomass Conference.

The Due Diligence Statements (DDS) information system will provide a "due diligence statement number and [companies] link it" with the product they are producing and selling to trace the origin of products throughout the supply chain, as required by the EUDR, Reinemann said at last week's conference.

Mandatory due diligence under the EUDR for operators and traders selling and importing wood products — among other commodities — into the EU will apply from 1 January 2025 for most operators. But small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have an extension for the start of implementation of the regulation until June 2025.

The different implementation start dates may result in challenges for trading between the two company size categories, Reinemann said. For instance, a small forest operator selling feedstock to a large sawmill would have different levels of requirements to meet in the first half of 2025 when the small operator will not be obliged to meet EUDR requirements, he said.

Some operators that lack the logistical and cost capacity to meet the EUDR requirements may decide to exit the market, but "realistically, we do not know how significant that share is", Reinemann said.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has previously commented on concerns over the implementation of this regulation, arguing that it could limit US wood product exports to Europe.

Despite the challenges surrounding implementation of the EUDR regulation, "the accountability [it will require operators to have] will give [the public] a lot more faith in the system", Reinemann said.

"The regulation will primarily impact forest owners as feedstocks are the first to be targeted," Bioenergy Europe policy director Irene di Padua said in an interview in February.

The EUDR will apply to imports of cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber, wood and their derived products to the EU.


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24/06/21

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update

Adds comment from an EU official in paragraph six London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. An EU official confirmed receipt of the US letter to Argus and said the commission would reply in due course. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem and Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan's Hokuriku starts biomass co-firing test runs


24/06/21
24/06/21

Japan's Hokuriku starts biomass co-firing test runs

Tokyo, 21 June (Argus) — Japan's utility Hokuriku Electric Power started coal and wood pellet co-firing test runs in April, the company said today. Hokuriku has been conducting co-firing test runs using coal and imported wood pellets at the 700MW Tsuruga No.2 unit in Fukui prefecture since April, with the 700MW Nanao-Ohta No.2 unit in Ishikawa prefecture to follow suit. The company also plans to increase biomass co-combustion rates at these two major coal-fired power plants to 15pc by the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, which means a total of 210MW of capacity and 1.5mn MWh/yr of output based on biomass-fired generation. Hokuriku expects its increased biomass co-firing rates to reduce CO2 emissions by 1mn t/yr compared with emissions from coal-firing for the same output, although it did not disclose the volume of wood pellets that will be burned. The company has been co-firing with coal and domestically-produced wood chips at Tsuruga since 2007 and at Nanao-Ohta since 2010, but its total biomass ratio was under 1pc. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation


24/06/21
24/06/21

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation

London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. The US authorities are understood to not have received a formal reply to the letter from the commission yet. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Shipping industry urges action to stop Red Sea attacks


24/06/20
24/06/20

Shipping industry urges action to stop Red Sea attacks

Dubai, 20 June (Argus) — The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called for urgent action to stop "unlawful attacks" on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi rebels after the sinking of a second bulk carrier since November last year. "This is an unacceptable situation, and these attacks must stop now," the ICS said. "We call for states with influence in the region to safeguard our innocent seafarers and for the swift de-escalation of the situation in the Red Sea." The Iran-backed Houthis began attacking ships in the Red Sea six weeks after the Israel-Hamas war broke out last year in what they claim is an act of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The British-owned, Belize-flagged Handysize bulk carrier Rubymar sank on 4 March this year, four weeks after a Houthi attack. And the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said on 19 June that it believes the Greek-owned and operated bulk carrier Tutor has also sunk after the Houthis struck it with an unmanned surface vessel on 12 June. Since the attacks began, three sailors have been killed and two ships seized in separate incidents, one of which has since been freed. "We have heard the condemnation and appreciate the words of support, but we urgently seek action to stop the unlawful attacks on these vital workers and this vital industry," the ICS said. "And we must not forget the crew members from the [cargo vessel] Galaxy Leader and [containership] MSC Aries who are still being held captive." The Houthis have stepped up their attacks in recent days, prompting counter measures by US and UK military forces deployed in the area. The Red Sea is one of the world's most important shipping lanes, serving as a vital trade link between Europe and Asia. The attacks have led to an increase in freight rates and shipping insurance costs. And they have disrupted trade flows through the Suez Canal at the northern end of the Red Sea as many shipowners opt to avoid the area by taking the longer route around the southern tip of Africa. The combined flow of crude and oil products transiting the Suez Canal in both directions dropped by 34pc on the month and by 65pc on the year in May, according to preliminary data from trade analytics firm Kpler. Most oil passing through the canal southbound is now of Russian origin — 92pc in May, according to Kpler data. India, China and the Middle East were the main destinations. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australia’s 2022-23 cattle herd estimate revised higher


24/06/20
24/06/20

Australia’s 2022-23 cattle herd estimate revised higher

Dalby, 20 June (Argus) — The estimated size of the Australian cattle herd as of 30 June 2023 has increased significantly with a methodology change for collecting data. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) previously relied on producer surveys to estimate beef and dairy herd sizes but a poor response rate forced it to gather data from other sources. This led to a change in the estimated herd size from 24.4mn head of cattle in Australian paddocks at the close of the 2022-23 fiscal year to 27.8mn. The data primarily serves as a retrospective figure with a minimal impact on future slaughter rates and current market prices. But government and industry research agencies use it to forecast future herd movements and to estimate the impact of livestock. A change in the methodology is the inclusion of cattle on smaller farms. Since 2015 the ABS excluded livestock businesses with annual output of less than A$40,000 ($26,700) to reduce reporting burdens on micro-size producers. When releasing its new estimated herd size the ABS explained that this was because of a herd rebuild in Queensland, the largest contributing state to the Australian cattle population, where cattle numbers increased by 4.2pc from a year earlier to 13.2mn head. Beef cattle numbers also increased in New South Wales by 6.2pc to 5.9mn and in Victoria by 5pc to 2.9mn. But the value of livestock disposals in 2022-23 fell by 1pc to A$23.3bn, according to the ABS. Lower rainfall through the early stages of 2023 reduced producers' confidence, resulting in volatile market conditions and affecting prices for red meat throughout the second half of the year. By Amy Phillips Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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