Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a new withhold release order that, effective Oct. 21, requires the detention at all U.S. ports of entry of fresh tomatoes produced by the Mexican tomato farms Agropecuarios Tom S.A. de C.V. and Horticola S.A. de C.V. and their subsidiaries. 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.

According to CBP, this order was based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor against workers at these farms, including at least five of the 11 International Labor Organization indicators of forced labor. CBP notes that in October 2020 Mexican authorities took action against allegations of forced labor conditions on the same farms.

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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