Guidance: Collaboration in the supply chain between obliged enterprises and their suppliers
The Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains obliges enterprises of a certain size (since 2023 with at least 3,000 employees in Germany, from 2024 with at least 1,000 employees in Germany) to respect certain human rights and environmental due diligence obligations (= obliged enterprises). Furthermore, the Act has effects on enterprises outside the scope which are in direct or indirect supplier relationship, because the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act requires obliged enterprises to collaborate with their suppliers in order to fulfil their due diligence obligations even if these suppliers do not have their own obligation according to the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. In this context, obliged enterprises sometimes make (too) far-reaching demands towards their suppliers.
This paper shows possibilities and boundaries the Act sets to such demands. Moreover, it contains recommendations for constructive collaboration. The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle, BAFA) additionally published a catalogue with the most important questions and answers for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and - together with the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights - the Executive Summary of this Guidance as separate documents.