March 2023

Summary of CBP’s March 2023 Forced Labor Technical Expo

Summary of CBP’s March 2023 Forced Labor Technical Expo 

CBP held a Forced Labor Technical Expo from March 14-15, comprised of experts and service providers highlighting tools to utilize for supply chain transparency to comply with The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and the general “reasonable care” obligations of U.S. importers. UFLPA was signed into law December 31, 2021, and seeks to prohibit imports of certain goods from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where it has been reported that the Chinese government is using forced labor of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities in detention camps and factories. For more information about the UFLPA, please see our previous blog articles here and here.  

CBP Data Dashboard  

CBP launched a UFLPA data dashboard where the trade community can now monitor forced labor enforcement by origin, commodity, CBP Center of Excellence and Expertise, and more. See the screenshot of the new dashboard below and note that the countries of export most targeted are NOT China, contrary to popular belief. This is partly due to the fact that most UFLPA enforcement to date has been on solar panels, which may include Chinese-origin raw materials but are generally further manufactured outside of China. Notably, CBP is actively tracking many different types of products across many different industries with raw materials that originate in China and that are further manufactured in other countries for forced labor enforcement. […]

USDA Proposes New “Made in the USA” Standard

U.S. consumers who seek animal food products labeled as “Made in the USA,” or who simply value transparency on food product labels, may finally catch a break. On March 6, 2023, the USDA released a proposed rule to help define what is meant when a food product is a “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA.”  Currently, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulated products may be labeled as “Product of USA” even when an animal product is derived “from animals that may have been born, raised, and slaughtered in another country but are minimally processed in the United States.”

As a result of the U.S. President’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain, the proposed rule allows a “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.

Albeit, a very significant caveat accompanies the proposed rule, which is, that, labeling a food product in accordance with the latter is completely voluntary. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) takes a similar course of action. While the FTC regulates U.S. origin claims under its authority to act against deceptive acts and practices, foreign-origin markings on products are regulated primarily by U.S. Customs under the Tariff Act of 1930. The similarity in the rules is that neither Customs nor the FTC requires that goods made […]

New Court Rulings on Marijuana-Related Paraphernalia: Understanding the Impact on Importers

The marijuana industry is rapidly growing, with more and more states legalizing its use for medical and/or recreational purposes. With this growth, there is an increase in the importation of products such as grinders, storage containers, rolling paper, pipes, and vape pens, both for business and personal use. More businesses are asking why there is an issue importing such items when they only intend to sell and distribute within the many states where marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use and have established their regulations for marijuana-related products. It is still essential to remember, while many states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. 

This blog will address recent Court of International Trade (CIT) cases on this very topic and will be a part 2 to our previous blog covering U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seizures of drug paraphernalia 

CBP Authority 

CBP has the power to seize “drug paraphernalia” products.  This does not only cover importations of products for commercial use, but also items for personal use with individuals traveling internationally seeking entry into the United States.  CBP’s website section: Know Before You Go – Prohibited and Restricted Items encourages individuals to contact CBP prior to traveling and make sure that prohibited or restricted items, such as drug paraphernalia, are not brought into the country, as they are not only subject to seizure pursuant to […]

CBP Publishes Additional Guidance On Responding to Cargo Detentions Made Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Background

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) went into effect on June 21, 2022. The law creates a rebuttable presumption that imports of all goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (“Xinjiang”), or by entities identified on the UFLPA Entity List, were made using forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the U.S. under 19 U.S.C. § 1307. For more information about the UFLPA, please see our previous blog articles here and here. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has been vigorously enforcing this law, detaining hundreds of attempted import shipments every month under both the UFLPA and Withhold Release Orders for suspected forced labor violations.

Importers that have a shipment detained under the UFLPA can seek to have the shipment released under one of two paths. They can either:

  • show that in spite of the fact that the goods were produced wholly or partially in Xinjiang or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List, they were not in fact made using forced labor; or
  • show that neither the goods nor the inputs used to make the goods were produced wholly or partially in Xinjiang and have no connection to entities on the UFLPA Entity List (i.e., that the goods fall outside the scope of the UFLPA).

Taking the second path means requesting an “admissibility review.”

Last year, pursuant to the UFLPA, the Department of Homeland Security published a Strategy to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, […]

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