EU set to ban products made using forced labour
The EU is set to ban all products made using forced labour. The ban is likely to become law in 2023 at the earliest and will apply to goods where forced labour has been used at any stage of their production, including harvesting, manufacturing, and transport.
The initiative mirrors Section 307 of the Tariff Act in the United States which already prohibits the importation of forced labour goods to the U.S. The 27 EU member states will play a similar role to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and will be responsible for detection and enforcement.
Acknowledging that the EU is responsible for around 10 per cent of global deforestation, its lawmakers have also backed a proposal for a law that would ban the sale of agriculture products linked to deforestation.
The law would require companies and producers to conduct appropriate due diligence and verify that certain products sold in EU markets have not been made on deforested or degraded land. It is not yet clear whether tea could be included, but cocoa, coffee and palm oil have all been suggested as priorities by the European Commission.