Regulating trade in forest-risk commodities

Enrico Partiti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


There is considerable urgency in addressing the impact from the production of certain agricultural commodities on ecosystems and local communities. Forest-risk commodities (FRCs) such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, rubber, soy, maize and beef generate negative impacts on deforestation, ecosystem destruction and human rights of the communities affected. In light of the international obligations entered into by the European Union (EU) and its Member States, this paper proposes a possible measure regulating the entry into the EU market of FRCs via due diligence requirements for traders. It subsequently assesses its compliance with international trade law obligations under Articles I:1,III:4 and XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The paper illustrates that it is possible to design World Trade Organisation (WTO) compliant legislation addressing trade in FRCs. In assessing compatibility of the proposed measure, the paper suggests possible approaches to implement sustainability criteria for FRCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31–58
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of World Trade
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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