A Mexican regulation that implements a commitment made under the U.S -Mexico-Canada Agreement to ban the importation of goods made with forced labor entered into force May 18. Under this regulation, imported goods will not be considered to have been made in whole or in part by forced or compulsory labor unless they have been specifically designated via a resolution of Mexico’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS).

Proceedings to designate specific goods as having been made by forced labor may be (1) self-initiated by the STPS or (2) initiated pursuant to a request by a Mexican citizen or legal entity containing the following information: (i) name and address of the petitioner; (ii) legal foundations and reasons supporting the request as well as facts and description of the evidence supporting initiation; (iii) description and tariff classification of the goods; information on their technical specifications, function, use, nature, components, and inputs used in their manufacture, and any other information that may be used to identify the goods; (iv) name and address of the persons or entities that allegedly produced the goods by means of forced labour; (v) region or country(ies) of origin or provenance of the goods; and (vi) signature of the petitioner or legal representative.

If the STPS determines that there are sufficient elements to initiate a formal investigation, it will proceed as follows.

- request the cooperation of the relevant forced labor institutions in other countries to verify whether forced labor is being used in the production of the goods under scrutiny

- any determinations issued by the relevant foreign institutions will be adopted by the STPS and, whenever applicable, a resolution will be issued designating the goods as having been made by forced labor and therefore banning their importation into Mexico

- when the process outlined above is not carried out, the STPS will notify the Mexican importer of the goods under scrutiny of the initiation of the proceeding

- the importer will be given 20 working days to respond and the STPS will be required to issue a final resolution within 180 working days (with a possible extension of another 180 days)

The STPS resolution may determine (1) that forced labor was used in the production of the goods under scrutiny, in which case they will be added to the list of goods produced by forced labor, or (2) that the use of forced labor has not been not proven, in which case the goods will not be added to the list of goods produced by forced labor but the petitioner can submit a new request with more probatory elements.

Any domestic or foreign person may request the rescission of a resolution designating specific goods as having been made with forced labor if evidence to the contrary is provided or if the relevant foreign authorities have rescinded a forced labor determination.

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