Suspected goods made from Chinese forced labor seized by CBP.

Image of seized gloves; source: CBP.gov

CBP seized 32 cartons of women’s leather gloves suspected of being manufactured by forced labor. CBP believes the shipment may have been made from forced labor because the shipment originated from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. As you may or may not know, the Xinjiang region is where the CBP media release reports the Chinese is committing human rights abuses against the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minorities.

The shipment was detained under a “Withhold Release Order” (WRO) against Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Company Limited and Baoding LYSZD Trade And Business Company Limited. A WRO is typically issued against a manufacturer after CBP conducts an investigation. The investigation will look for forced labor indicators such as restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation, threats, withholding of wages and abusive working and living conditions.

If CBP issues a WRO, this enables CBP personnel at the port of entry to detain the shipment if there is a reasonable belief the goods were made by forced labor. WRO seizures are not able to be admitted to the US and Importer of Records of WRO goods have 90 days to re-export detained shipments or submit proof to CBP the goods were not made with forced labor.

If your goods are subject to a WRO and you want to discuss your options – contact David Hsu by phone/text at anytime to 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Detention order on seafood harvested with forced labor.

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As of yesterday (August 18th), at all of the over 450 U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain any seafood harvested by the vessel named “Da Wang”, a Vanuatu-flagged, Taiwan-owned water fishing vessel.

CBP’s Office of Trade (OT) issued the Withhold Release Order (WRO) against the Da Wang due to reasonable indications they used forced labor, physical violence, debt bondage, withholding of wages, and abusive working conditions.

If you believe part of your supply chain will be impacted by this WRO, or any of the other pending WRO’s – contact David Hsu by phone or text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. §1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. This WRO will require detention of seafood harvested by the Da Wang at all U.S. ports of entry. Importers of detained shipments will have an opportunity to export their shipments or submit proof to CBP that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

This is the twelfth WRO that CBP has issued since September 2019, and the second against a fishing vessel. All WROs are publically available and listed by country on the CBP’s Forced Labor Withhold Release Orders and Findings page. The Forced Labor Division, established in 2017 within the CBP Office of Trade, leads enforcement of the prohibition on the importation of goods made from forced labor.

CBP is committed to identifying and preventing products made by forced labor from entering the United States to maintain a level playing field for U.S. domestic industry. CBP receives allegations of forced labor from a variety of sources, including from 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 U.S. can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.

Follow CBP Office of Trade on Twitter @CBPTradeGov.

CBP issues detention order on clothing made from prison labor.

curious isolated young woman looking away through metal bars of fence with hope at entrance of modern building
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against garments produced by the “Hero Vast Group”. According to Customs, the Hero Vast Group includes entities such as: Shanghai Hero Vast International Trading Co., Ltd.; Henan Hero Vast Garment Co., Ltd.; Yuexi Hero Vast Garment Co., Ltd.; Ying Han International Co., Ltd.; and Hero Vast Canada Inc.

Under 19 USC 1307, you cannot import merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced through use of forced labor such as child labor, convict labor or through indentured labor.

CBP believes the Hero Vast Group is violation 19 USC 1307 by the use of prison labor to produce garments.

If you are subject to a withhold release order and your goods are detained, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com. Our office may be able to

CBP seizes Chinese shipment of human hair products due to suspected use of child and forced labor.

Image of the seized hair, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of New York/Newark detained a shipment of products and accessories made with human hair today from Xinjiang, China.

The shipment was seized because of a pending “Withhold Release Order” (WRO) on hair products made by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd. The WRO came into effect on June 17th, in which Customs instructs each port to detain all products from certain manufacturers (in this case Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd.). The 13 tons of seized products were worth over $800k dollars. WRO’s are typically issued if Customs reasonably believes goods are manufactured using prison labor, forced labor, made under use of excessive overtime, withholding of wages and or the restriction of movement. CBP seizes Chinese shipment of human hair products due to suspected use of child and forced labor.t. Prior to a WRO being issued, CBP will give the importer the burden of proof to show the merchandise is not manufactured using forced labor or any of the other issues previously written above.

If you are subject to a WRO, or if you are under audit for a potential WRO action – contact trade and customs attorney David Hsu immediately by mobile phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Tobacco from Malawi’s Alliance One International no longer subject to withhold release order.

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Earlier today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) changed a withhold release order (WRO) to allow tobacco from Malawi’s Alliance One International, LLC.

What is a withhold release order (WRO)?
A WRO is used by CBP to prevent the importation of goods from companies with a reasonable suspicion of being produced using forced labor.

How do you cancel a WRO?
CBP will require an audit of the company to cancel a WRO. In the instant article, Alliance One International’s social compliance program was likely evaluated and found by Customs to minimize the risks of forced labor from the supply chain. Alliance One likely had to demonstrate to CBP the the tobacco produced and harvested from their farms does not use forced labor.

Does this impact the other tobacco growers on Malawi?
No, the WRO will continue to apply to imports of tobacco from Malawi by any other company that has not demonstrated to CBP there is no forced labor in its supply chain.

Can you tell me more about a WRO?
The WRO was born out of Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307. This statute prohibits importation of merchandise mined, manufactured or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor and indentured labor.

If you are an exporter subject to a WRO, and would like the WRO to be removed, contact attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Follow CBP Office of Trade on Twitter @CBPTradeGov.

CBP revokes WRO on tuna harvested by the Tunago 61 vessel.

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Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release – CBP announced that tuna and tuna products harvested from the Tunago No.61 vessel will be admissible at all U.S. ports of entry beginning April 1, 2020.

The revocation of withhold release order (WRO) on tuna and tuna products harvested from the Tunago No. 61 vessel was based on information provided to CBP that tuna and tuna products from this vessel are no longer produced under forced labor conditions.

A WRO is put in place prohibiting the importation of certain goods if CBP believes the goods being imported were made wholly or in part by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor.

If you are subject to a pending WRO and want to discuss your options, or if you are aware of an importer using any type of forced labor; contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP revoke withhold release order (WRO) on disposable rubber gloves.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, yesterday, CBP revoked a Withhold Release Order (WRO) for rubber gloves imported by WRP Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd.

Briefly, a WRO is issued by CBP and intended to prevent goods suspected to have been made with forced labor or in violation of labor standards from entering the US.

The WRO, which was initially put in place last September and revoked recently because CBP obtained information demonstrating the company no longer produces rubber gloves under forced labor conditions. The process to revoke a WRO required CBP becoming involved with the manufacturing and labor practices to ensure WRP complied with international and US labor standards.

While the media release made no mention of the corona virus, it is unusual to see a media release singling out a revocation of a withhold release order, especially a WRO on PPE goods  such as disposable rubber gloves.

If you are subject to a WRO and want to explore your options, contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Tobacco from Malawi subject to detention by US Customs.

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Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a withhold release order on tobacco from the southeast African country of Malawi and other products that contain tobacco from Malawi.
A withhold release order (WRO) means any products from Malawi containing tobacco will be detained by CBP at all of the ports of entry. A WRO was issued after information was collected by CBP that indicates tobacco from Malawi is produced using forced labor and forced child labor.
Many believe a WRO means you cannot import tobacco from Malawi – however, an WRO still allows for importation of tobacco, but importers need to provide documentation that their tobacco and tobacco containing products do not include tobacco from Malwai that was produced using child labor or other prohibitions under US law. 
This most recent WRO is just one of 7 previously issued by CBP this year to prevent the importation of products made using forced labor (which includes convict labor, forced child labor or indentured labor).
If you believe your goods have been wrongly seized by a WRO, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance – we have helped many importers and can be reached by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Zimbabwe claims CBP’s accusation of use of forced labor in their diamond mine is a “shameless lie”.

photo of diamond ring

Photo by W W on Pexels.com

Earlier this week, I blogged about CBP’s issuance of a Withhold Release Order (WRO) that allows CBP to seize products produced “in whole or in part using forced labor”.

One of the products subject to detention are “Rough diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe; mined from forced labor.

Earlier today, moneyweb.co.za (a Zimbabwe financial web publication) accused the US of lying about diamond mining at the Marange Diamond Fields using forced labor – calling the claim a “shameless lie”.

In support of their claim, the article cites the Kimberley Process (steps that are taken to ensure diamond mining isn’t used to fund conflicts) finding that there are no restrictions on trade in Zimbabwean diamonds. The Kimberley Process represents 81 countries and covers 99.8% of the global rough diamond production.

Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, Polite Kambamura is quoted as saying the “doors are open” if CBP wants to visit Marange and that “we are a responsible state miner that operates within the laws of the country and we observe strict adherence to critical tenets of corporate governance”.

Like Marange in Zimbabwe, if you feel your company has been wrongly placed on CBP’s WRO list, contact experienced customs and trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP issues detention orders against companies who may have used forced labor.

woman in black shirt and green latex gloves

Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release, CBP issued 5 Withhold Release Orders (WROs) covering different products imported from different countries. WRO’s are also detention orders and allow CBP to seize products that are produced in whole or in part using forced labor.

The detention orders are part of a US law that makes it illegal to import goods to the US that are made “wholly or in part by forced labor”.  Forced labor covers convict labor, indentured labor and child labor.

The press release did not specify how CBP was made aware of the allegations of forced labor, but typically investigations may be started by news reports and tips from either the public or trade community.

According to the press release, the following WROs are effective immediately:

Garments produced by Hetian Taida Apparel Co., Ltd. in Xinjiang, China; produced with prison or forced labor.
Disposable rubber gloves produced in Malaysia by WRP Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd.; produced with forced labor.
Gold mined in artisanal small mines (ASM) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); mined from forced labor.
Rough diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe; mined from forced labor.
Bone black manufactured in Brazil by Bonechar Carvão Ativado Do Brasil Ltda; produced with forced labor.

If you are an importer and have had your items seized on suspicion of being wholly or in part produced by forced labor – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu. We assist importers in re-exporting the shipment or submitting information to counter CBP’s claims – call/text 832-896-6288 or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.