Malaysia May Take EU Directive on Palm Oil to WTO

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia has no qualms about taking the discriminatory

EU Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED) requirements for palm oil usage

as biofuel to the World Trade Organisation, said Malaysian Palm Oil

Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron.

“This is

no joke but we will have to wait and cannot act on it now as the EU RED

will only be implemented as national legislation by the year-end,” he

told local and foreign participants on the last day of the International

Palm Oil Sustainability Conference yesterday.

Yusof said the

proposed directive had not only affected palm oil exports into Europe

but also disrupted the business of European biodiesel producers planning

to use palm oil as feedstock for their biofuel production.

He

said palm oil greenhouse gas emission default values were severely

misrepresented to disqualify palm oil from being used as approved

biofuel in the European Union (EU).

Earlier, Yusof suggested the

palm oil industry introduce new sets of sustainability certifications,

such as the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and the Indonesian

Sustainable Palm Oil, as alternatives if the Roundtable on Sustainable

Palm Oil (RSPO) certification is unacceptable to the EU and the United

States.

“Many Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil producers have to

endure the rigourous and expensive certification to produce certified

sustainable palm oil (CSPO) for the EU market but the uptake of the

premium product is still dissappointing,” he added.

Currently,

about one million tonnes of RSPO-certified palm oil is readily available

in the world market, he said, adding: “However, I believe only 200,000

to 300,000 tonnes of the premium CSPO were taken up by Western

consumers.”

Apart from being the victim of the continuous attacks

from Western environment NGOs, Yusof said: “Palm oil will need to

comply with the certifications set by Germany and the US, apart from the

EU RED requirements for biofuel usage in Europe.”

He said it was

unfair for palm oil not to be given the rights to trade on fair grounds

and had to be singled out for sustainability compliance while other

competing oils were not subjected to similar poor treatment.

“Developed

nations must be fair to developing countries which depend on palm oil

to raise their income levels. They should employ fair trading mechanisms

and legislations.”

Source : Business Times by Hanim Adnan

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