March 2024 Blog

EU regulation on a ban on products made using forced labour expected to apply from mid-2027

Just two days before the adoption of the CSDDD in the Council, the Council also adopted the Regulation on a ban on the import of products made using forced labour (Forced Labour Regulation, or FLR for short).

The main objective of the FLR is to prohibit any products manufactured using forced labour from being imported into, made available on or exported from the EU internal market. The current draft of the FLR also covers online trade, provided that the offer for sale is aimed at EU citizens.

The national authorities can take various measures if a violation of the import ban is identified, including the imposition of import bans, the recall of products already made available on the internal market, the seizure of goods, particularly in the context of imports, and the imposition of fines.

However, the FLR does not provide for a reversal of the burden of proof, such as the US Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act. Under the FLR, the national authorities still have to prove that the product in question was manufactured using forced labour. For this purpose, a database with guidelines, import bans already imposed and identified high-risk sectors and regions is to be published.

Although the FLR will enter into force on the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU - probably in mid-2024 - it will not apply until three years after its entry into force in the Member States according to the current draft regulation, i.e. probably not until mid-2027. Nevertheless, it is already advisable for companies to set up product-related risk management  - in line with the German LkSG and the CSDDD – now.

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