Background

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced June 24 the issuance by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of a new withhold release order requiring with immediate effect the detention at all U.S. ports of entry of shipments containing silica-based products made by Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd., a company located in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as well as subject products made by Hoshine’s subsidiaries.

CBP states that the WRO applies to silica-based products made by Hoshine and its subsidiaries as well as to materials and goods (such as polysilicon) derived from or produced using those silica-based products. Silica is a raw material used to make components for solar panels, electronics, and various other goods.

According to CBP, this order is based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in Hoshine’s manufacturing operations involving silica-based products. Following an investigation, CBP identified two of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor in Hoshine’s production process: intimidation and threats and restriction of movement.

Importers of detained shipments will have an opportunity to export their shipments or submit proof to CBP that they were not produced with forced labor or are not covered by this WRO. CBP emphasizes that importers are responsible for ensuring the products they are attempting to import do not exploit forced labor at any point in their supply chains, including the production or harvesting of the raw material.

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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