European Parliament approves law to ban products made with forced labor


The European Parliament has approved today new regulations to ban products manufactured with forced labor from the European Union.

“Member state authorities and the European Commission will be able to investigate suspicious goods, supply chains, and manufacturers,” the European Parliament said in a statement. “If a product is deemed to have been made using forced labor, it will no longer be possible to sell it on the EU market (including online) and shipments will be intercepted at the EU’s borders.”

The provisions cover all products and do not target specific companies or industries. They will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union tomorrow. EU member countries will have three years to enforce the new provisions.

“Today, worldwide, 28 million people are trapped in the hands of human traffickers and states who force them to work for little or no pay. Europe cannot export its values while importing products made with forced labor,” said Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Rapporteur for the EU Internal Market Committee. “The fact that the EU finally has a law to ban these products is one of the biggest achievements of this mandate, and a victory for progressive forces.”

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The European Parliament and the European Council have reached a provisional agreement on the new rules in early March. The Internal Market and International Trade Committees of the European Parliament approved the draft regulation in October.

The European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) repeatedly urged the European Union to adopt legislation against forced labor in the PV industry, by explicitly calling for measures to prevent solar products produced with forced labor from entering the European market.

The ESMC is an industry association that was created in 2019 with the aim of promoting the interests of the European PV manufacturing sector.

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