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Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to go into Effect June 21, 2022

When the UFLPA goes into effect, all importers must prove their supply chains are free from forced labor.

container ship in sea

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) was signed into law by the President of the United States on December 23, 2021.

The UFLPA establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, or produced by an entity on a list required by clause (i), (ii), (iv) or (v) of section 2(d)(2)(B) of the Act, is prohibited by Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and that such goods, wares, articles, and merchandise are not entitled to entry to the United States. The rebuttable presumption goes into effect on June 21, 2022.

In advance of June 21st, CBP will be issuing letters to importers identified as having previously imported merchandise that may be subject to the Act to encourage those importers to address any forced labor issues in their supply chains in a timely manner.

If the IOR does not receive a letter from CBP, it does not mean that their supply chain is free of forced labor. All importers are expected to review their supply chains thoroughly and institute “reliable measures” to ensure imported goods are not produced wholly or in part with convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor (including forced or indentured child labor).

Proof of Admissibility

Importers contending that merchandise detained under 19 CFR 12.42(a) was not produced with forced labor must submit the Certificate of Origin signed by the foreign seller as required by 19 CFR 12.43(a), which may be submitted in electronic form, and a detailed statement from the importer, as outlined in 19 CFR. 12.43(b).

Guidance Concerning the Certificate of Origin

• A standard Certificate of Origin is not acceptable. The required format for the certificate of origin is detailed in 19 CFR 12.43(a). This paragraph includes the exact wording of the certificate that should be signed by the seller/manufacturer.
• The statement required by 19 CFR 12.43(b) should be submitted by the importer, not the seller. The importer’s statement should be sufficiently detailed and include proof that the goods were not produced, wholly or in part, with forced labor.

An example involving Cotton and Tomatoes

Supporting documentation should trace the supply chain from the origin of the cotton or tomatoes, to the production and processing of downstream products, to the merchandise imported into the United States.

Note: detention notices will request the following types of documentation. This is not an exhaustive list. Additional documentation may be required.

For cotton products: Provide sufficient documentation to show the entire supply chain from the origin of the cotton at the bale level through the final production of the finished product and identify the parties involved in the production process. Provide a list of suppliers, with associated production processes, to include names, addresses, flow chart of the production process, and maps of the region where the production processes occurred. Number each step along the production processes and number the additional supporting documents associated to each step of the process.

For tomato products: Provide supply chain traceability documents pointing to the point of origin of the tomato seeds, tomatoes, or tomato products. Provide affidavit from the tomato processing facility that identifies both the parent company and the estate that sourced the tomato seeds and or tomatoes. Provide Purchase Order, Invoice, and Proof of Payment for the tomato seeds, tomatoes, or tomato products, from the processing facility and the estate that sourced the raw materials. Provide all production records for the tomato seeds, tomatoes, and/or tomato products that identify all steps, from seed to finished product, from the farm to shipping to the United States.

Due Diligence / Best Practices:

CBP recommends that the trade community use the following resources to better understand and address the risks of forced labor in global supply chains:

• The Department of Labor’s Comply Chain App;
• The Department of Labor’s List of Goods Made by Child Labor or Forced Labor;
• The Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report; and
• The July 2020 Xinjiang Business Advisory

In addition, importers should have a comprehensive and transparent social compliance system in place. CBP’s Informed Compliance Publication on Reasonable Care includes a section on forced labor.

The Department of Labor’s website provides guidance on setting up a social compliance system:

DSV has resources to support your supply chain best practices, and we are prepared to assist you with your due diligence regarding UFLPA. Reach out to our Customs Brokerage team to prepare your supply chain.

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