Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a new withhold release order for goods suspected of being made by forced labor.
This time, a detention order (withhold release order) was issued against cotton from Turkmenistan. The May 18, 2018 WRO includes “all Turkmenistan Cotton or products produced in whole or in part with Turkmenistan cotton”.
Importers are expected by CBP to be informed whether the goods they import are subjec to WRO’s. A full list of current imports subject to WRO’s can be found here.
Background regarding CBP’s efforts against forced labor:
Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1307) bans the importing of merchandise that is mined, produced or manufactured, in whole or in part, in any foreign country by forced labor/child labor. Such merchandise is subject to seizure or excluded from importation into the US.
When information reasonably but not conclusively indicates that subject merchandise is being imported, Customs may issue withhold release orders pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 12.42(e). If the Commissioner is provided with information sufficient to make a determination that the goods in question are subject to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. § 1307, the Commissioner will publish a formal finding in the Customs Bulletin and in the Federal Register.
A withhold release order will require detention at all US ports of entry of any such merchandise manufactured by these companies. Withhold release orders are usually issued against types of goods and specific producers from specific countries.
If you have had issues regarding importation of good subject to a withhold release order, contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.