Import Detention Order Targets Disposable Gloves from Malaysia
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued July 15 a new withhold release order against disposable gloves made by two manufacturers in Malaysia, Top Glove Sdn Bhd and TG Medical Sdn Bhd. This order requires the detention of such goods at all U.S. ports of entry and was likely based on information indicating the use of forced labor.
A Reuters article notes that Top Glove is “the world’s largest medical glove maker” and that company officials said they are actively working with CBP to resolve the underlying problem, which they hope will result in a removal of the WRO within a matter of weeks.
19 USC 1307 prohibits the importation of goods mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. Such goods are subject to exclusion and/or seizure and may lead to criminal investigation of the importer. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 closed a loophole in this law that had allowed imports of certain forced labor-produced goods if they were not produced domestically in such quantities as to meet consumptive demands.
When information reasonably but not conclusively indicates that goods within the purview of 19 USC 1307 are being imported, CBP may issue withhold release orders. CBP has said that it acts on information concerning specific manufacturers, exporters, and goods and does not generally target entire product lines or industries in problematic countries or regions. CBP also does not generally publicize specific detentions, re-exportations, exclusions, or seizures that may have resulted from its WROs or findings.
CBP encourages stakeholders to closely examine their supply chains to ensure their imported goods are not mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, with prohibited forms of labor; i.e., slave, convict, forced child, or indentured labor. A list of all CBP WROs and findings is available here.