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EUDR Challenges Needs to be Collectively Addressed with The EU as Uncertainties Still Looms

26 June 2024: The MPOC collaborated with the European Forest Institute (EFI) and key stakeholders to discuss preparations, challenges, and solutions for EU operators and Malaysian exporters to comply with the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). With the compliance deadline of December 30, 2024, approaching, EU operators and traders must ensure that products entering the EU are deforestation-free and produced according to relevant local laws.

Attended by close to 500 participants, industry stakeholders in this webinar highlighted the constraints affecting its compliance preparations, particularly the lack of clear guidance and clarity from the EU on the EUDR’s requirements, and the sheer volume of information involved, which was further compounded by the complexities of the palm oil supply chain.

The European Forest Institute (EFI), represented by Technical Expert Dr. Josil Murray, presented the latest updates in Malaysia’s effort to improve the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme, particularly in the areas of deforestation-related definitions, legality, geolocation, and traceability in palm oil production. This is to ensure that the certification scheme is fully aligned to the EUDR requirements and facilitate Malaysian exporters’ compliance. She also acknowledged Malaysia’s commitments in meeting the EUDR requirements, despite the many uncertainties faced by the industry due to insufficient clarity in interpretating the EUDR requirements.

Mr. Ku Kok Peng, Chief Sustainability Officer of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, shared the many challenges faced by the Malaysian exporters in preparing for the EUDR. He spoke about the implications from these challenges, particularly the risk of smallholder exclusion, limitation of compliant supply to EU and at higher costs, as well as the need for the EU to urgently resolve the many uncertainties faced, as exporters will need to prepare its EUDR-compliant shipments to the EU by September or October this year. The situation also disincentivises businesses from investing in EU, which could adversely impact employment and the economy in the EU.

Daphne Hameeteman, General Manager Sustainability, External Engagement, Wilmar International highlighted Wilmar’s preparations for EUDR, their efforts in engaging relevant stakeholders, their experiences in participating in the EUDR information system pilot testing, as well as challenges faced in meeting the EUDR requirements, interpreting the requirements and the sheer amount of information and documentation involved in the due diligence process. She stressed on the need for the EU Information System to be improved, and raised the possibilitiesthat EU operators may not have sufficient volume (of EUDR-compliant palm oil) by 2025, due to these challenges faced.

Henriette Faergemann, First Counsellor for Environment, Climate Action and Digital Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam shared the current updates and developments of the EUDR implementation, including updates on its FAQ site, guidance documents, Information System, EU Observatory on Deforestation platform, Country Benchmarking as well as EU’s efforts in engaging producing countries. She highlighted that the EU is supportive of the role of national sustainability certification schemes such as the MSPO. While the schemes cannot replace the due diligence statement, the information supplied by MSPO can assist the EU operators and traders’ efforts in conducting its due diligence obligations. She also acknowledged Malaysia’s preparedness and reiterated the EU’s commitment to address the challenges and technical constraints faced by the Malaysian exporters and EU operators.

Belvinder Sron, Chief Executive Officer of MPOC said, “Malaysian exporters have made significant financial and technical investments to meet the EUDR requirements, focusing on geolocation, legality information, and supply chain traceability. However, many small farmers in the palm oil supply chain face difficulties and risk exclusion from the supply chain. Despite these efforts, providing the necessary due diligence information remains challenging due to the complexities of the palm oil supply chain.”

Commenting on the Malaysian palm oil trade with the EU, Belvinder added, “EU imported 2.66 million tonnes of palm oil and palm products from Malaysia in 2023 and is also a significant export market for Malaysian palm oil (ranking third after India and China). EU has been and will continue to be an important market for Malaysia, but the EUDR is increasing the cost of doing business in Europe. The Malaysian palm oil industry will explore opportunities in other global markets that are more accessible and equitable, especially for smallholders.” She urged the EU to promptly address the lack of guidance and uncertainties faced by the Malaysian palm oil industry before the EUDR enforcement date of January 1, 2025, and reaffirmed the industry’s readiness to collaborate with the EU to address these uncertainties and bottlenecks.

The MPOC EFI Webinar can be viewed online here.

For more information on MPOC and Malaysian palm oil, visit

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