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Proposed ban on forced labour products

In September 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation to prohibit from the EU’s market products made with forced labour and human rights abuses. The proposed regulation would cover all products made available within the EU market, meaning both products made in the EU or imported from third countries. The provisions of the proposed regulation would apply to all types of products, regardless of the sector or industry. Member States would be responsible for the enforcement of the regulation’s provisions and their national authorities would be obliged to withdraw from the EU’s market the products made with forced labour, unless companies can prove that they eliminated forced labour from their supply chains.

The proposed ban is currently being examined by the Member States and the European Parliament. The members of the Parliament are proposing to broaden the scope of the proposed regulation to include key services (i.e. services in the transportation, storage, packaging and distribution of products, where forced labour could take place) and to introduce compensation for victims. The legislative process regarding the ban has been slower than expected. The provisions of the proposed regulation will be discussed again in the Parliament in September 2023.