The European Parliament and Council have reached historic agreement on a new EU law on deforestation-free products. All operators placing commodities on the European market that can generate global deforestation will now be subject to mandatory due diligence rules. This closes an important loophole that allowed products linked to the degradation and destruction of forests to be sold in the EU. Intergraf and our members have called for printed products to be included in the scope of this legislation for over a decade. We are delighted to see our efforts succeed.
(An Intergraf statement)
This momentous agreement is the result of intense advocacy by Intergraf and our members, alongside other actors including environmental NGOs, to secure that printed products are covered by the due diligence rules. Paper was already covered by the EU Timber Regulation; therefore, when manufactured in Europe, printed products benefit from the legality check of paper. When imported from outside the EU (in particular from countries that have low or no requirements on illegal logging), there was no guarantee that the paper used was legally sourced.
Without this law, millions of euros worth of printed products enter the European market without protection from illegal logging. Contrary to unprinted paper, printed paper products can be freely imported on the European market regardless of the origin of the paper. Illegal logging and deforestation caused by imported printed products blemishes the reputation of our industry in Europe, and the image of our products. The printing industry welcomes the political deal reached today and the extension of the scope of the Deforestation Regulation to printed paper products.
The strength of the Deforestation Regulation owes to the high ambitions of the European Parliament, in particularly Rapporteur Christophe Hansen (EPP, LU). The European Commission had initially presented a limited list of commodities (beef, palm oil, soya, coffee, cocoa, and wood). Thanks to the European Parliament’s position of extending the scope to further commodities (rubber) and derived products (including printed products), print is now included in the scope of the Deforestation Regulation.
“Thanks to Intergraf’s advocacy, the scope of the EU Deforestation Regulation now covers printed products, which was one of the few wood-based products not already covered by due diligence requirements. EU legislators have reached an ambitious agreement that will protect forests globally,” says Ulrich Stetter, President of Intergraf.
“European consumers need to trust that the books or printed items they buy on the European market do not contribute to global deforestation. The inclusion of printed products in the scope of the Deforestation Regulation secures this,” states Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of Intergraf.
“With the extension of the scope to printed products, the EU’s new Deforestation Regulation closes a significant environmental loophole and will restore some degree of fair competition between European printers and their non-EU competitors – in particular from low-cost countries,” says Laetitia Reynaud, Policy Adviser at Intergraf.