US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently published Frequently Asked Questions regarding imported goods from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) that are subject to withhold release orders (WRO). In January, “WROs were issued against cotton and tomatoes and their downstream products produced in whole or in part in the XUAR and includes downstream products produced outside the XUAR that incorporate these inputs.” The WROs were issued in response to a CBP investigation that found cotton and tomato products from this region were produced with forced labor.
Some of the FAQ topics covered include:
- CBP’s communication plan for detained merchandise.
- The required proof that goods were not produced with forced labor.
- Best practices recognized by CBP for ensuring suppliers do not use forced labor.
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) repealed the “consumptive demand” clause in 19 USC § 1307 that had allowed the import of certain forced labor-produced goods if the goods were not produced “in such quantities in the United States as to meet the consumptive demands of the United States.” This repeal enhances CBP’s ability to prevent products made with forced labor from entering the US. CBP’s Forced Labor webpage provides additional information, as well as links to related fact sheets.