EU Plans to Stop Toner Cartridges Made with Chinese Forced Labor, Slowly.

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Date: Tuesday February 13, 2024 03:50:24 pm
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    EU Plans to Stop Toner Cartridges
    and Other Products Made with Chinese Forced Labor Slowly.

    The EU Council has agreed on a new regulation that would stop toner cartridges and other products made with forced labor from entering the EU market. The regulation applies to all products, including toner cartridges, from any sector and industry, whether they are made in the EU or imported from third countries.

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    The regulation aims to fight forced labor, which is a serious breach of human rights and dignity. Forced labor is defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”. According to the ILO, there are 27.6 million people in forced labor worldwide, mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

    The regulation gives the national authorities of the EU Member States the power to investigate, withdraw, and ban toner cartridges and other products made with forced labor from the EU market or export them to third countries. The Commission will also help in asking and checking information from third countries, as well as making and publishing the final decisions on banning specific products.

    The regulation is based on the principle of due diligence, which means that companies have the duty to identify, prevent, mitigate, and report the negative impacts of their activities on human rights, including forced labor. The regulation does not exclude SMEs, but considers their size and economic resources.

    The regulation is a response to the increasing global worry about the use of forced labor in various supply chains, especially in China, where there are reliable reports of human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority and other ethnic and religious groups. The US has already banned the import of several Chinese products, including cotton, tomatoes, solar panels, and hair products, over forced labor claims.

    The regulation is also part of the EU’s wider agenda to support responsible and sustainable trade, in line with the European Green Deal and the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. The regulation is expected to have positive effects on the protection of human rights, the environment, and the competitiveness of the EU market.

    The regulation still needs to be discussed and approved by the European Parliament and the Council before it can become effective. The Parliament agreed on its position on the proposal in November 2023, asking for stronger and quicker measures to stop toner cartridges and other products made with forced labor. The talks between the institutions are expected to begin soon and finish before the end of the current legislative term.

    We are worried that the EU Council is making a very complicated system here, which will not really lead to an effective ban on the import of toner cartridges made by forced labor. The United States of America already banned these toners 8 months ago, but the EU Council has only just agreed on a position on the banning of products made with forced labor, which is also very difficult, and we doubt that it will lead to a fast and working ban on these toners. We need quick and strong measures like the ones in the USA with help from
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