EFS Consulting

EU proposes to ban products manufactured using forced labor

The proposal is based on internationally agreed definitions and standards. 

National authorities will be authorized to remove products produced in forced labor from the EU market following an investigation. EU customs authorities will both identify and stop products produced in forced labor at the EU’s external borders. The proposal does not target specific companies or sectors, but covers all products, whether they are produced in the EU for domestic consumption or export, or imported from third countries.  

Initially, the authorities will conduct an assessment of the risk of forced labor based on many different sources of information, which overall should facilitate the identification of risks. Such sources may include a forced labor risk database focused on specific products and geographic areas, and due diligence conducted by companies. 

If the suspicion of forced labor is confirmed, the authorities order the withdrawal from the market of products that have already been placed on the market and prohibit the placing on the market and export of the products. The companies must dispose of the goods. The customs authorities of the member states will be responsible for enforcing the ban at the EU’s external borders. 

Furthermore, the Commission will publish guidelines within 18 months of the entry into force, which will include guidance on due diligence in relation to forced labor and information on forced labor risk indicators. 

The text of the standard can be consulted HERE. 

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