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24 Nov 2021

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Germany: Future govt. expresses support for EU mandatory due diligence in coalition agreement

"New German government supports comprehensive supply chain due diligence obligations", 24 Nov 2021

The Social Democrats, the Greens and the Free Democrats presented their coalition agreement today. The future government parties back up the brand new German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act [...] and underline that it will be implemented unchanged and may even be improved where necessary. Furthermore, they explicitly express support for an effective supply chain regulation at EU level, demanding that it should be based on the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights and take account of the burden for small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, they support the proposed ban on the import of products from forced labour and the EU Commission's proposal for a law on deforestation-free supply chains. Finally, they promote a European Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. It is thus to be expected that the new German government will push the issue in Brussels with vigour...

In parallel, the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), which will enforce the new regulations under the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, seems to be getting serious: BAFA recently announced that it will create two new offices in Eastern Germany with approximately 5,000 employees who will be entrusted to enforce the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. Furthermore, the BAFA has started a dialogue with the business community on the implementation of the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.

The coalition agreement states: "We support an effective EU supply chain law, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, that does not overburden small and medium-sized enterprises. The Supply Chain Due Diligence Act will be implemented unchanged and, where appropriate, improved. We support the EU Commission's proposal on the law on deforestation-free supply chains. We support the EU's proposed ban on the import of products from forced labour." (translated from German for convenience)

https://www.spd.de/fileadmin/Dokumente/Koalitionsvertrag

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