Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued an operational guidance for importers on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which imposes a rebuttable import ban on materials or inputs from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region effective June 21. Highlights of this guidance, which is intended to complement the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force’s strategy guidance and UFLPA entity list expected to be published June 21, include the following.

  • Importers have 30 days after a detention (a much shorter period than the three months provided under the withhold release order process) to provide CBP with documentation that provides clear and convincing evidence that the goods were not made with forced labor.
  • UFLPA exception requests occur when a UFLPA-named entity or XUAR content is in the supply chain, while scope decisions occur when no UFLPA-named entities and/or no XUAR content is in a shipment detained by CBP.
  • CTPAT members will be given review priority for UFLPA exception requests.
  • Importers may identify additional shipments that have identical supply chains to those that have been reviewed previously and determined to be admissible by CBP to facilitate faster release of identical shipments.
  • Companies should be wary of factories that have dual sources of raw materials because it will be harder to prove no commingling. 
  • The significant new information in this guidance pertains to required evidence when an entity is requesting an exception; i.e., a named UFLPA entity is somewhere in the supply chain for that specific shipment and the effort is to prove that no forced labor was involved in the production of the shipment. If an exception is approved, CBP would need to notify Congress and the public.
  • Companies are encouraged to map all entities in their supply chains and trace records related to the production of goods back to the material source.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg offers a comprehensive suite of services to help companies address forced labor concerns in China and elsewhere, including supply chain reviews, due diligence strategies, and proactive remediation. ST&R also maintains a frequently updated web page offering a broad range of information on forced labor-related efforts in the U.S. and around the world. For more information, please contact ST&R at supplychainvisibility@strtrade.com.

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