DHS Continues to Crack Down on Goods Produced by China’s Forced Labor/Prison Labor
U.S. Customs has been targeting and yielding results, according to Patrick Gill, respected trade attorney employed by Sandler Travis & Rosenberg. On April 22, 2021, during a Women in International Trade LA (WITLA) presentation, Gill provided an update regarding the activities of imported cargo being held or excluded from entry. The cargo is believed to be made in China and imported directly from China or from other countries using fabric and or parts made in China by either prison labor or forced labor.
Investigation of Chinese manufacturers has found some are providing work to Philippine migrants in China which has led to additional woes for shippers. The migrants provide their passports to the manufacturer, who in turn, holds them and does not return the passports to the workers. The working conditions have been found to be under forced/prison labor standards.
It has also been discovered China is producing parts, for example, chips for solar panels and the chips are sold and distributed to other countries. Some solar panels manufactured in Mexico contain the chips made from forced/prison labor in China and are being detained by U.S. Customs and excluded from entry. Cotton fabric continues to be produced and distributed to other countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, and manufacturers are using the illegal fabric to produce wearing apparel garments. These garments are being examined and detained for exclusion as well.
Customs places the burden on importers to ensure products being imported to the U.S. are not made from or by forced or prison labor. If you cannot visit the Chinese factories, have your overseas agent verify by visiting the factory to ensure your commodities are manufactured without such illegal labor. Without current policies and practices to prevent risks, importers may unknowingly be linked to forced labor through their suppliers. This makes it increasingly important to know your entire supply chain.
Please contact your Western Overseas representative if you have any further questions.