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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article5 March 2024Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs1 min read

Commission welcomes political agreement to ban products made with forced labour from the Union market

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached last night between the European Parliament and the Council on the regulation prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market.

The fight against forced labour is a political priority for the Commission, as outlined by President von der Leyen in her 2021 State of the Union address.  

The agreed text follows the Commission's proposal of 14 September 2022. The new rules will provide the EU with a tool to ban products made with forced labour from the single market.

The main elements of last night's agreement are

  • The scope of the regulation covers products made in the EU for domestic consumption and exports, and also imported goods, without targeting specific companies or industries and all types of forced labour. This is particularly important because it is estimated that around 27.6 million people are in forced labour, in many industries and in every continent across the world.
  • The Commission will investigate cases and take decisions where the risk of forced labour is outside the territory of the Union, while EU countries will investigate and take decisions in case the forced labour is found inside the EU.
  • The Commission will prepare tools to support the economic operators and national competent authorities in the application and implementation of the regulation.

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council is now subject to the formal approval of both EU co-legislators. Once adopted, the new rules shall enter into application 36 months after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU. 

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