EU Parliament, Council agree to ban products made with forced labour

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union Council and the European Parliament on Tuesday reached a provisional agreement to ban the entry of products made with forced labour into the European single market.

The agreement clarifies the different responsibilities the EU Commission and the member states in identifying the companies exploiting forced workers and banning their products.

The deal intends to break these companies’ business model, Pierre-Yves Dermagne Belgium’s Economy and Labour Minister said in a statement.

“With this regulation we want to make sure that there is no place for their products on our single market, whether they are manufactured in Europe or abroad,” he said. Belgium currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

The bans would be enforced on goods made outside the EU by forced labour and on products manufactured in the EU with parts made abroad by forced labour.

The provisional agreement still needs to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council to be enforced.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Michael Perry)

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