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EU: MEPs call for ban on import of products made with forced labour

Through . Published on 13 June 2022 à 11h33 - Update on 13 June 2022 à 11h33

In a resolution adopted on 9 June, members of the European Parliament called on the European Commission to ban the “import and export of products made or transported by forced labour”. The trade instrument sought by the Parliament would be compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organisation and would have to be supplemented so that the ban would also apply to trade within EU countries. Contrary to the EU directive on due diligence (presented last December by the Commission, see article n°12924), the rules introduced would be valid for all companies and would permit “public authorities [to] detain goods at the EU border”, according to the resolution. This would be allowed if there is “sufficient evidence” and if the importer is unable to prove the goods were not made or transported with forced labour. Public authorities would also require “responsible companies to provide remediation to the affected workers”, before any import restrictions are lifted. The EU would thus join the US, Canada and UK, which banned the import of products made from forced labour imposed on Uighurs (see article n°12328). For this to happen, the Commission must take up the issue and propose draft regulation to be adopted by the Parliament and a qualified majority of Member States.

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