Strasbourg, 14 September 2022
On the 14th of September, the Commission has proposed a regulation aimed at prohibiting products made with forced labour on the EU market. The proposal covers all products, namely those made in the EU for domestic consumption and exports, and imported goods, without targeting specific companies or industries.
During the 2022 State of the Union address, the Commission stressed the importance of the proposal as, at current, an estimated 27.6 million people are in forced labour, in many industries, and in every continent.
The proposal will empower National authorities to withdraw from the EU market products made with forced labour, and EU customs authorities will focus on stopping products made with forced labour at the EU borders.
In the words of Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, “this proposal will make a real difference in tackling modern-day slavery, which affects millions of people around the globe. Our aim is to eliminate all products made with forced labour from the EU market, irrespective of where they have been made. Our ban will apply to domestic products, exports and imports alike. Competent authorities and customs will work hand-in-hand to make the system robust. We have sought to minimise the administrative burden for businesses, with a tailor-made approach for SMEs. We will also further deepen our cooperation with our global partners and with international organisations.”