Tuesday, September 26, 2023

EU Didn’t Consult with Indonesia Before Passing EUDR: Minister

Jayanty Nada Shofa
June 9, 2023 | 9:22 pm
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto. (Antara Photo)
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto. (Antara Photo)

Jakarta. Indonesia once again ranted about the European Union’s anti-deforestation regulation, saying that the EU did not even consult with the palm oil-producing country before passing the law.

The European bloc has adopted the EU Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR) which requires operators and traders to prove their products are not produced on land subject to deforestation after Dec. 31, 2020. 

They must present the geolocation coordinates of the land where the commodities and products are produced — a requirement that Indonesia finds to be troublesome for the smallholders. Palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber as well as the derivatives of the said commodities are subject to the EUDR. 

"They [EU] have passed the [EUDR] without consulting with us. This is a regulation that regulates other countries. We usually issue regulations to regulate ourselves. But this one regulates operators of other countries," Chief Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto said at a conference on the national single window system on Friday.


Large companies will have to comply with the new rules within 18 months after the EUDR’s entry into force, while smaller firms get a 24-month transition phase. 

The EUDR will also classify countries as low, standard, or high risk of producing deforestation-linked products. 

Airlangga told the forum that Europe has yet to recognize Indonesia's national sustainable palm oil certification (ISPO). “And they won't even recognize the RSPO. Let alone ISPO and [the Malaysian equivalent] MSPO," Airlangga said.

"I actually asked [Europe]: 'Did you know that coffee does not come from the same bean?' I told them that the bean that you drink comes from Mandailing Natal, and they did not even know where that was. So I asked them: "Why would you make a regulation that you do not really know?" Airlangga said, commenting on the geotagging.

Airlangga also called the EUDR “a new trade barrier”.

“But who bears the cost of this traceability?” Airlangga said.

Palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia recently sent a joint mission to Brussels to fight back against the EUDR. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo even spoke of what they called "palm oil discrimination" when meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in Putrajaya on Thursday.

“We must not let other countries discriminate against commodities produced by Malaysia and Indonesia,” Jokowi said in the joint press statement.

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