U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Feb. 23 issued additional guidance on enforcement and review procedures under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, including best practices for applicability reviews, more detailed frequently-asked questions on UFLPA enforcement, and guidance on executive summaries and sample tables of contents for importer applicability review submissions.
Best Practices for Applicability Reviews
This guidance is based on CBP’s experience to date on best practices for importers seeking an applicability review, which may be requested if an importer contends that the UFLPA’s rebuttable presumption does not apply to its importation (i.e., that its imported goods were not mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List).
The guidance states that importers asserting that the UFLPA’s rebuttable presumption does not apply to a detained shipment should refer to Section IV, B & D, of CBP’s UFLPA operational guidance for importers. According to the guidance, generally, to demonstrate that the UFLPA does not apply to a shipment identified for examination under the law importers will need to provide documentation produced in the ordinary course of business that details the order, purchase, manufacture, and transportation of inputs throughout their supply chain. Examples include the following.
- Documents demonstrating the parties participating in the transaction – records illustrating all parties involved in the sourcing, manufacture, manipulation, transport, and/or export of a particular good (e.g., summarize the roles of parties involved as substantiated by other supporting documents, flow chart of supply chain).
- Documentation relating to the payment and transport of raw materials – documents demonstrating the origin of the raw materials and records showing that business transactions related to the payment and transport of inputs (e.g., invoices, contracts, and purchase orders) have occurred. This includes financial documents substantiating the transaction (e.g., proof of payments) as well as documents demonstrating that the goods were physically transferred from one entity to another.
- Transaction and supply chain records – full records of transactions and supply chain documentation that demonstrate the country of origin of the imported good and of its components (e.g., packing list, bill of lading, manifest).
The guidance provides two examples of properly prepared applicability review packages and asserts that prior to import importers should maintain awareness, assess risk and make informed decisions, ensure there is a clear plan for responding to a UFLPA detention, and maintain consistent supply chains and communicate early with the appropriate CBP Center of Excellence and Expertise.
The guidance states that upon receipt of a detention notice importers should connect with the CBP point of contact included therein as soon as possible with any questions related to the detention and next steps. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Trade Compliance partners will have their admissibility packages prioritized for review by the appropriate Center, as long as such prioritized review is requested.
If an importer’s supply chain or supporting documentation is particularly complex, the guidance recommends that importers request to meet with the assigned Center team conducting the applicability review and walk through the document submission with the Center team.
Separately, CBP is providing guidance on executive summaries and sample tables of contents for importer applicability review submissions.
More Detailed FAQs on UFLPA Enforcement
CBP has also issued more detailed FAQs on UFLPA enforcement. Among other things, the FAQs mention that an interactive dashboard containing data on the total number and value of shipments detained pursuant to the UFLPA is expected to be released on or around March 31.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg has a robust program to assist companies on forced labor issues. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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