Last week, the interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), added the following two People’s Republic of China (PRC)-based companies to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List: Ninestar Co. and Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. DHS found that the companies engaged in business practices that target members of persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities. Goods produced by the companies will be restricted from entering the United States.
On December 23, 2021, President Biden signed into law H.R. 6256, as part of the United States’ commitment and deterrence efforts to secure U.S. supply chains from goods produced by forced labor. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) (H.R. 6256) requires CBP to apply a rebuttable presumption that all imports of goods, wares, articles, and merchandise manufactured wholly or in part from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, or by entities identified by the U.S. government on the UFLPA Entity List, are presumed to be produced with forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the United States.
This presumption applies to all goods made in, or shipped through, other countries that include parts made in Xinjiang. However, this presumption is rebuttable. To rebut this presumption, the importer of record will need to provide to CBP clear and convincing evidence that the goods were NOT produced using forced labor.
DHS Making Progress, Some Say Not Enough
While the announcement was applauded by some, other groups expressed concern that DHS is not doing enough to enforce the UFLPA. The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) issued a press release expressing concern with the announcement of only two entity list additions. UHRP claims that they, along with other research organizations, have submitted substantial data showing evidence of violations that the government has yet to take action on. UHRP Executive Director stated that the announcement was “highly disappointing,” noting “it’s truly concerning that the government apparently could only act on two companies.”
The Chairs of the Congressional Executive Commission on China also issued a statement saying the additions are a “step in the right direction” but urging more robust enforcement.
UFLPA Enforcement Remains a Priority
Despite the criticism of action, UFLPA enforcement will continue to be a priority of the U.S. government. FLETF has opened up strong channels for public input and continues to investigate violations.
Diaz Trade Law has significant experience in a broad range of import compliance matters including forced labor issues. Read more about UFLPA requirements:
- Bloomberg Law article, US Customs Targets Use of Forced Labor
- Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA): What You Need to Know
- CBP Publishes Additional Guidance On Responding to Cargo Detentions Made Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
- Summary of CBP’s March 2023 Forced Labor Technical Expo
- UFLPA DHS Forced Labor Guidance – What Importers Need to Know
For assistance with importer due diligence in relation to forced labor requirements, or for assistance in submitting documents to dispute the use of forced labor, contact our Customs and International trade law attorneys at email@example.com or call us at 305-456-3830.