European Parliament calls for import ban on forced labour
"Towards an EU import ban on forced labour and modern slavery", 12 February 2021
The European Parliament has called for a new EU instrument that allows for import bans on products related to severe human rights violations such as forced labour or child labour. This tool could be a complementary measure to the EU legislation on corporate human rights and environmental due diligence along supply chains which is currently being developed.
...The import ban...would allow [the EU] to immediately stop goods at our borders when [there is] reasonable suspicion that they are made with forced labour. The onus would then be on the company...to prove that this is not the case.
...[T]his paper...consider[s] whether the import bans could be introduced via:
- EU foreign policy, i.e. the new EU Human Rights Sanctions mechanism
- amending our Free Trade Agreements and other trade mechanisms
- a new Internal Market instrument
- a new instrument with a trade legal basis
A brief examination...leads to the conclusion that a new EU instrument with a trade legal basis would be preferred.