On 14 September 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for a Regulation on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market. The proposed instrument would be a prohibition of placing on the EU market of products made wholly or partially with the intervention of forced labour, and of exporting them. The proposal combines the prohibition with a risk-based enforcement. The aim is for the regulation to be non-discriminatory, applying equally to products made in the EU and international products, not targeting specific products, industries or countries.
In terms of tools for implementation and support, the legislative proposal foresees a database based on international sources and submissions to identify countries and products. There will be a network of competent authorities to exchange information and working methods. There will also be guidance for companies, especially for SMES, and for the competent authorities.
Due to the significant importance of international trade in the market of fisheries and aquaculture products, the Market Advisory Council commissioned an external study to evaluate the implication of forced labour in the global market and how it potentially affects the EU market. The study represents the views of the consultants. The Market Advisory Council will adopt its own views in due time.
Full study available here.