On 16 October 2023, the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) jointly adopted the draft report on Prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market.
The draft regulation would put in place a framework to investigate the use of forced labour in companies’ supply chains. If it is proven that a company has used forced labour, all import and export of the related goods would be halted at the EU’s borders and companies would also have to withdraw goods that have already reached the EU market. These would then be donated, recycled or destroyed.
Reversal of burden of proof in high-risk cases
MEPs amended the Commission proposal to task the Commission with creating a list of geographical areas and economic sectors at high risk of using forced labour. For goods produced in these high-risk areas, the authorities would no longer need to prove that people have been forced to work, as the burden of proof would fall on companies.
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