Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a new withhold release order that, effective May 28, requires the detention at all U.S. ports of entry of seafood and products of seafood harvested by vessels owned or operated by the Dalian Ocean Fishing Co. Ltd.

This WRO was based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in Dalian’s fishing operations, including physical violence, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions. CBP states that this is the first WRO it has issued against an entire fleet of fishing vessels.

Forced labor in foreign fishing operations is also the focus of a U.S. proposal in the ongoing World Trade Organization negotiations on a potential agreement to address fishing subsidies.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg offers a comprehensive suite of services to help companies address forced labor concerns, including supply chain reviews, due diligence strategies, and proactive remediation. For more information, please contact Amanda Levitt (at (212) 549-0148 or via email), David Olave (at (202) 730-4960 or via email), or Nicole Bivens Collinson (at (202) 730-4956 or via email). You can also click here for ST&R’s forced labor resources page.

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