European Parliament Approves Ban On Forced Labour Products

The European Parliament has given its approval to a new regulation enabling the EU to prohibit the sale, import, and export of goods made using forced labour.

“Member state authorities and the European Commission will be able to investigate suspicious goods, supply chains, and manufacturers,” a press release informed.

If a product is deemed to have been made using forced labour, it will no longer be possible to sell it on the EU market, online or offline and shipments will be intercepted at the EU’s borders.

Decisions to investigate will be based on factual and verifiable information that can be received from, for example, international organisations, cooperating authorities and whistle-blowers.

Several risk factors and criteria will be taken into account, including the prevalence of state-imposed forced labour in certain economic sectors and geographic areas.

Manufacturers of banned goods will have to withdraw their products from the EU single market and donate, recycle or destroy them.

Non-compliant companies could be fined. The goods may be allowed back on the EU single market once the company eliminates forced labour from its supply chains.

The regulation was adopted with 555 votes in favour, 6 votes against and 45 abstentions. The text now has to get a final formal approval from the EU Council.

It will then be published in the Official Journal and EU countries will have to start applying it in 3 years.

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