Transparency for fairer and greener EU supply chains
The need for reform: non-state actors should have access to EU customs information
EU supply chains are infested with human rights violations, land grabs, deforestation, pollution, and adverse biodiversity and climate impacts. EU companies are linked to deforestation, fraud, modern slavery, and land grabs through imports of Brazilian meat and involved in the illicit trade of tropical timber from Myanmar and of Russian sanction products, to name a few examples.
Non-state actors, such as civil society organisations, trade unions, journalists, and academics, play an essential role in bringing injustices in global value chains to light. They are also pivotal in developing laws to ensure respect for human rights and the environment in EU supply chains and increasingly play a role in their functioning.
Infested with deforestation
However, non-state actor contributions in all these areas could be much more effective, with more detailed insight into global supply chains and trade flows. Access to EU customs trade information would facilitate stakeholder interventions with companies and authorities to make companies’ value chains more respectful of human rights and the environment and consequently contribute to more effective implementation of regulation in these areas.
This briefing for EU policymakers shows that enabling non-state actors to access customs trade information is urgently needed and compatible with privacy, data protection, and commercial interest concerns. It also presents several cases illustrating how access to customs information helps non-state actors ascertain how companies are connected in global value chains and makes recommendations.
Fighting abuses with transparancy
EU supply chains need to become more transparent to address the abuses they are fraught with effectively. The ongoing reform of the Union Customs Code presents a historic opportunity for the EU to substantially contribute to supply chain transparency and make global trade and production greener and fairer.
Clean Clothes Campaign(opens in new window) , Finnwatch (opens in new window) and SOMO, together with over 50 other CSOs, call on EU policymakers to include the proposals for reform in the new European Union Customs Code.
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Offsetting human rights Published on:Maria HengeveldPosted in category:PublicationMaria Hengeveld