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Understanding the Excess Declaration Aspect of EUDR: Key Insights for Compliance

In many of our discussions, one recurring question about the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) consistently arises: how do 'excess declarations' and geolocation declarations impact compliance ? Could one declare 'in excess' in the due diligence statement, whereby, combining all plots of land together rather than separating one geolocation per commodity/ product produced. Technically, yes. However, there is more to it than meets the eye and as much as we like simplicity, we want to make sure your business is covering all its bases.  One crucial aspect that is not talked about enough is understanding what are the risks associated with declaring in excess.

So let’s break this down for better clarity.

Can Operators Include Land That Did Not Produce the Commodity?

The core of the EUDR requires a clear correspondence between the commodities or products placed on the market and the specific plots of land where they were produced. This traceability is essential for ensuring the integrity and compliance of supply chains. However, operators are allowed, under certain circumstances, to provide geolocation coordinates for a higher number of plots of land than those where the commodities were actually produced.

Risks of Declaring in Excess

While it might seem beneficial to declare more plots than necessary to cover all bases, this approach comes with significant risks:

  1. Full Responsibility for Compliance: When an operator declares ‘in excess’ in their due diligence statement, they assume full responsibility for the compliance of ALL plots of land for which geolocation is provided. This means that even if only a subset of these plots is used for production, the operator is accountable for the compliance of every declared plot.

  2. Risk of Total Non-Compliance: If any single plot of land included in the geolocation declaration is found non-compliant, the entire set of geolocated plots is deemed non-compliant. This amplifies the risk as the operator must ensure that all plots meet the required standards.

  3. Comprehensive Due Diligence Requirements: Operators must perform full due diligence for all declared plots of land, including those in excess. This involves:

    • Risk Assessment: Evaluating the risk of non-compliance in accordance with Article 10.2 for all plots.
    • Consideration of Specific Criteria: Taking particular account of criteria (i) and (j) of Article 10 in the risk assessment.
    • Evidence of Negligible Risk: Providing proof that the risk is negligible for all declared plots.

Traceability and Excess Declarations

Traceability is an essential tool for complying with the EUDR and achieving its primary goal of preventing deforestation. By tracing every commodity back to its origin, we can ensure that our products / commodities are not contributing to environmental destruction. 

Traceability is crucial for:

  1. Verifying Sustainability: Ensuring that commodities are produced in compliance with deforestation regulations.
  2. Building Consumer Trust: Providing transparency in the supply chain, which is increasingly demanded by both consumers and stakeholders.

However, by declaring excess plots, we undermine the very objectives of the EUDR by obscuring the direct link between the commodity and its exact place of production. 

Key Takeaways for Operators

Declaring more plots than necessary may initially seem like a cautious approach, but it significantly increases the risk surface. To minimize compliance risks, it is crucial to ensure that your geolocation declarations are precise and only include plots where commodities were actually produced.

By adhering to these guidelines, operators can better manage their compliance efforts and avoid the pitfalls associated with excessive declarations. Ensuring accuracy in your geolocation reporting not only aligns with regulatory requirements but also supports sustainable and responsible business practices.

For more detailed guidance on EUDR implementation and traceability, you can visit the official page: EU Deforestation Regulation - Implementation

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About farmer connect

We are a Swiss-based tech company delivering trusted end-to-end traceability solutions to global supply chains. farmer connect offers its clients a end-to-end traceability solution spanning from the first mile to the end customer. Our solution offers our customers the ability to consolidate sustainability data across entire supply chains to address compliance and reporting needs. From first mile onboarding at scale to systematic reporting for regulatory bodies, banks, corporate needs or consumers.