Forced labor modification for Top Glove Corp. Bhd.

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Back in March of 2021, CBP published a finding of forced labor in the Federal Register for disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by Top Glove Corporation Bhd. The finding against Top Glove was due to reports of forced labor indicators such as: debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions and retention of identity documents.

A finding of forced labor results in a “Withhold Release Order” (WRO) that instructs CBP to seize shipments of the gloves produced using the forced labor. It is then up to the importer to prove the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

The process a company needs to take involves a request to modify or revoke a finding. Each situation is different, but in general, CBP will modify a WRO or findings if there is enough evidence the subject merchandise is no longer produced or manufactured using forced labor.

In Top Glove’s situation – Top Glove paid $30 million in payments to workers and improved the living and working conditions at the company’s facilities.

If you are subject to a WRO or CBP finding of forced labor, or if you have any compliance concerns to ensure your company is not subject to a WRO or finding of forced labor, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Importing solar materials? US bans some Chinese solar materials tied to forced labor.

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Two days ago, the Biden Administration announced a ban on the importation of some solar materials from Xinjiang, the province in China that supplies most of the world’s polysilicon used to make solar panels. The ban is in response to what the White House accuses China of committing genocide and repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

Specifically, the ban applies to imports by “Hoshine Silicon Industry Company” and any goods made using those products (sometimes referred to as goods “downmarket”). CBP will ban imports of certain manufacturers if they have “information reasonably indicating” that a manufacturer uses forced labor to produce its goods. The risk to importers is very high and Customs will require the importer of record to provide information proving their goods are not downmarket from Hoshine Silicon or other companies subject to the ban.

Besides Hoshine Silicon Industry Company, other companies subject to the ban include:

  1. Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Company,
  2. Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals Company,
  3. Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology Company, and the
  4. Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

If you are unsure what to do, or unsure your products contain the banned materials, contact our office for a free no cost consultation. We also assist companies in the preparation of a Social Compliance Program to meet CTPAT requirements and to help lower your company’s risk of forced labor issues. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 for assistance or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Does my company need a Social Compliance program?

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Yes and Yes. While import and export compliance are the typical programs in place for importers and exporters – one often neglected compliance program importers must have is the social compliance program.

The social compliance program is necessary to ensure compliance with Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, prohibiting the importation of merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced or indentured child labor – including forced child labor. Importers who import goods produced with forced labor may have their goods subject to exclusion, detention, seizure and may lead to a criminal investigation.

While many importers are confident their manufacturing supplier is not using forced labor, CBP also goes after importers who are downstream from the actual instance of forced labor. For example, even though you do not purchase goods from a company using forced labor – if the raw materials used in the production of the goods you import are made using forced labor – your goods are subject to detention. Even if the raw materials go through several manufacturers or companies before being incorporated into the final product you import – you as the importer of record are liable for any instances of forced labor at any stage of the supply chain.

A social compliance program is therefore a must to minimize the risk of a Customs detention on the basis of use of forced labor. Not only do importers need a social compliance program in place, they also need to adequately educate and train all key personnel on minimizing the importation of goods produced using forced labor.

If you want to minimize your detention risk of goods subject to a pending Withhold Release Order or have any questions about whether your goods may be subject to detention based on the multitude of outstanding WRO’s in place – call us for your free consultation. Our firm prepares and trains companies on forced labor compliance and are ready to help you. Call David Hsu on his cellphone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP seizes 4.6 million disposable gloves due to forced labor finding.


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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers in Missouri seized over 4.68 million latex gloves from a subsidiary of Malaysia based Top Glove Corporation Bhd. The seizure valued at $690,000 was due to information provided to CBP the gloves were manufactured using forced labor – a form of modern slavery.

Specifically, CBP issued a forced labor finding – in which they suspect Top Glove’s production process to include debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working conditions, abusive living conditions and the retention of identity documents.

Unfortunately for Top Glove, CBP will continue seizing their goods until Top Glove can prove future glove shipments were not produced using forced labor. In general, forced labor also includes indentured labor, use of convict labor, and child labor.

CBP issued a forced labor finding on March 29 based on evidence of multiple forced labor indicators in Top Glove’s production process, including debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions, and retention of identity documents.

If your company is suspected of using forced labor. contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com. Forced labor compliance is the new, hot enforcement area for Customs and Border Protection.

If you are an importer, and are concerned about forced labor accusations, contact us also to create your forced labor compliance program.

New Withhold Release Order for Seafood Harvested with Forced Labor

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Effective today, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain at all US ports – tuna and other seafood harvested from the “Lien Yi Hsing Number 12”. The vessel is Taiwanese flagged and owned distant water fishing vessel due to reasonable information that indicates the use of forced labor – including but not limited to deception, withholding of wages and debt bondage.

As you are aware, 19 USC 1307 bans the importation of goods that have been mined, manufactured, produced in whole or in part by convict labor, forced labor and or indentured labor. If importers have goods from the Lien Yi Hsing vessel, CBP does allow the detained shipments to be exported or in the alternative, allow importers prove the merchandise was not produced using forced labor.

If you have any questions about this or any other withhold release order, or want to ensure you are in compliance with 19 USC 1307, or if you believe a company benefits from the use of forced labor, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.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 revokes WRO on tuna harvested by the Tunago 61 vessel.

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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.

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.

Children in China forced to produce Amazon Alexa devices. Where’s the outrage?

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According to the Guardian, a leaked document by China Labor Watch details school children in China forced to work over night to produce Amazon Alexa devices. The children were required to work nights and overtime to produce the smart-speaker devices at Foxconn, an OEM manufacturer supplying Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices.

The documents delivered to the Guardian indicate teenagers from schools and technical colleges in China were classified as “interns” with teachers being paid by the factory to accompany the students. The legal age of employment is 16, but school children are not allowed to work at night or overtime.

One “intern” quoted in the report said they were applying protective film on 3,000 Echo dots a day for 10 hours a day, six days a week for $2.34 an hour. When the intern complained, their teacher told them they had to work or else it may impact their ability to graduate from school.

Foxconn admitted students were working and they vowed to take action to remedy the problem. As Foxconn is also the OEM for Apple’s iPhone, it is unknown whether school children also made those devices.

It will be interesting to see what penalty Amazon will face. Most likely there will be a disparity in punishment – for example, the Ivory Coast is facing a potential ban of cocoa to the US due to the use of child labor; but there is no discussion for a ban of Amazon Alexa products. tudying computing, was given the task of applying a protective film to about 3,000 Echo Dots each day. Speaking to a researcher, she said she was initially told by her teacher that she would be working eight hours a day, five days a week, but that had since changed to 10 hours a day (including two hours’ overtime) for six days a week.

Will post more Amazon child labor violations as soon as they become available.

U.S. may ban cocoa imports from Ivory Coast due to potential use of child labor.

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Last week, Ivory Coast’s First Lady and US officials met to discuss a proposed US ban on Ivory Coast cocoa. Ivory coast is the world’s largest supplier of cooca (supplying 1/3 of all the world’s cocoa supply) and the Ivory Coast government is fighting every effort to block Ivorian cocoa from entering US ports.

The use of forced child labor to harvest cocoa has been an issue many chocolate wholesalers such as Mars, Nestle and Hershey have tried to eliminate, mostly through efforts such as monitoring supply chains and certification by third-party monitors. However, the recent report by two US Senators includes evidence of continued use of forced labor and the Washington Post reported earlier in June that 2 million children work in West African cocoa farms.

The Senators believe a new ban would further increase pressure on cocoa farmers and Customs officials are authorized to ban all products from entering the US if evidence indicates the products are or reasonably indicate they are produced with forced or indentured labor.

Will post more if the ban goes through, and if you want to avoid your company facing a ban due to any future customs issues, contact experienced trade and compliance attorney David Hsu, we can audit the supply chain process prior to importation to ensure compliance, call 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.