The EU's proposed restrictions on imported goods that may be related to deforestation are also inevitable. The European Parliament held a plenary meeting in Strasbourg in mid September to consider a series of amendments to the legislative proposal. One of the requirements is to exclude rawhide and leather from any new restrictions. Although 277 members of the European Parliament voted for leather exemption, 338 members of the Parliament voted against it.
The representative body of the EU leather industry, the Union of European Tannery Associations (Coance), expressed disappointment with the voting results, although the proposed late revision may be produced in the closed door negotiations of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council, which will be held before the end of this year. COTANCE said in a statement that it hoped that a European authority would come forward to support the leather industry.
The Union of EU Tannery Associations pointed out: "Leather cannot be considered as the driving factor of deforestation. Science has proved that the demand for leather will not increase livestock breeding or slaughter. Leather is a successful case of resource recycling and a leading industry of circular economy."
The Union of European Tannery Associations also said that the main reason why the members of the European Parliament who voted against the leather exemption was that they "fell into the lobbying trap carefully planned by radical organizations, and they made lies and released misleading information specifically against leather."
The EU Tannery Association Union said in the statement that the new legislative proposal will further affect the leather raw material market. The export restrictions on 60% of the world's available rawhides have "seriously distorted" the market. The statement said: "This will have a devastating impact on the price of raw leather and leather. The European Commission has considered the consequences after the restrictions in its impact assessment. The proposed legislation will bring advantages to leather producers outside the EU, because their leather consumer goods do not need to comply with the new restrictions proposed by the EU.
The statement said that the proposed restrictions would only improve the market of foreign competitors, force the leather production of EU countries to move abroad, and put as many as 450000 jobs on the European leather value chain at risk.