Statement: Council agrees on EU Forced Labour Ban Regulation

SolarPower Europe Statement

14 March 2024

Yesterday, during a meeting of Ambassadors from EU countries, EU Members States agreed on the Forced Labour Ban Regulation. A provisional agreement was reached at trilogue level on 4th March 2024, now the legislation needs the final approval from the Parliament.


The Regulation lays down rules prohibiting economic operators from placing and making available on the Union market or exporting from the Union market products made with forced labour.


Due to the upcoming European elections, the formal approval of the legislation will be at Committee level in the Parliament, and at Plenary level after the elections, before finally being formalised by Ministers of EU Countries at a subsequent Council meeting.


Anett Ludwig, Head of Supply Chains at SolarPower Europe, said (she/her): 


“We welcome that EU Ambassadors have approved the Forced Labour Ban Regulation. SolarPower Europe has been supporting the Regulation since its introduction in September 2022 and we are very glad to see it has landed, even as its sister legislation, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive is struggling in negotiations.


We really hope that the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive will also land before the European elections. Both it and the Forced Labour Ban are key tools in upholding the European sustainability values and will support companies as they reinforce the ESG value of their supply chains. 


With the Ban now all but agreed on and in rulebooks, the focus now comes to the implementing guidelines. The European Commission should soon adopt clear implementation guidelines for customs authorities, national authorities and economic operators, with particular attention to SMEs, to ensure consistent and efficient rollout across Europe. What applies at the port in Rotterdam should apply to the border of Hungary, and those rules should be made clear to industry. We are looking forward to the implementation guidelines to get clarity on route to compliance.” 

Questions? Get in touch.

Bethany Meban
Head of Press and Policy Communications

+32 492 97 82 48
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