The European Commission ruled Jan. 29, 2019, that U.S. soybeans meet the technical requirements to be used in biofuels in the European Union.
The decision is part of the implementation of the joint statement reached by U.S. President Trump and European Commission President Juncker in July 2018. In the agreement, the two sides agreed to increase trade in several areas, including soybeans.
“Renewable energy is the future of Europe, and it is important that any biofuels put in the market respect the high sustainability standards we want for our renewables,” the Commission said in a media statement. “By submitting the request for recognition, the U.S. has shown that it is ready to play by the rules.”
The EU requires biofuels to meet a set of sustainability criteria outlined in its Renewable Energy Directive, or RED. The U.S. soy industry has its own sustainability guideline, the Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol, or SSAP. With this announcement, the EU acknowledges SSAP meets its RED requirements.
“U.S. farmers have long prided themselves on adopting newer and better methods for producing high-quality soybeans that are grown responsibly and sustainably,” said Davie Stephens, a soybean grower from Clinton, Ky., and American Soybean Association president. “The SSAP sets a high standard that demonstrates that commitment, and we are pleased that the EU Commission has recognized our efforts by opening the door for SSAP-certified soybeans to be used in EU biodiesel.”
The United States is the No. 1 supplier of soybeans to the EU, and while this announcement applies only to soybeans exported for biodiesel, ASA sees it as a positive step for enhancing its EU market and validating the quality of the SSAP sustainability initiative. The EU’s decision will remain in place through at least July 1, 2021.
U.S. authorities are required to notify the European Commission of changes to the certification procedures and the Commission may repeal its decision if the plan is not correctly implemented, if it fails to submit annual reports or if it does not introduce improvements as required.
European Union imports of U.S. soybeans increased by 112% over the current market year, July through December 2018, compared to the same period in the previous year.
Source: American Soybean Association, European Commission, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.