DHS Issues Withhold Release Orders on Goods Produced by Alleged Forced Labor in China

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued five (5) Withhold Release Orders (WRO) on September 14, 2020 on various products from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The products subject to the WROs are allegedly produced using state-sponsored forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the Chinese government is accused of engaging in systemic human rights abuses against the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minorities.

The new WROs direct CBP Officers at all ports of entry to withhold release on the following goods:

  1. All products made with labor from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
  2. Hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China
  3. Apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
  4. Cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co., Ltd. in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
  5. Computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co., Ltd. in Anhui, China.

In Fiscal Year 2020, CBP has issued an unprecedented 13 WROs in a single fiscal year, including 8 WROs on products from China. All WROs are publicly available and listed by country on CBP’s Forced Labor Withhold Release Orders and Findings webpage.

As these are allegations, not conclusive findings, CBP requires information that is reasonable but not conclusive for issuance of a WRO.

Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307) prohibits the importation into the US of all goods and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by forced labor, convict labor, or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions, including forced child labor.

CBP receives allegations of forced labor from a variety of sources, including the general public. Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise produced with the use of forced labor is being, or likely to be, imported into the United States can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT

If you have any questions regarding Withhold Release Orders (WRO), Livingston can help!  Please contact either your Livingston account manager or our regulatory affairs group at usregaffairs@livingstonintl.com