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Import Detention Order on Gold from DRC Modified

Friday, June 05, 2020
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has modified its withhold release order on gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to specify that gold imported from the DRC by the Chambers Federation is admissible at all U.S. ports of entry effective May 28, 2020. This WRO had required the detention of such goods as of Sept. 30, 2019, due to concerns that they were being produced using forced labor. However, CBP now states that a rigorous evaluation of the Chambers Federation’s due diligence program and work with various government and non-governmental organizations produced evidence sufficiently supporting the federation’s claim that the artisanal and small-scale mines in the DRC from which it imports gold do not use forced labor.

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.

CBP encourages stakeholders to closely examine their supply chains to ensure that 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 withhold release orders and findings is available here.

For more information on forced labor issues, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson.

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