On June 21, 2022, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) went into effect. The act establishes that the importation of any goods made in whole or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region (Xinjiang) or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List are presumed to be made with forced labor regardless of where they are shipped from. UFLPA provides for a Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) which is led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to monitor the enforcement of the prohibition of goods made with forced labor into the US. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be the primary agency to enforce the UFLPA.
An exception to this presumption can be made by CBP if the importer has complied with guidance provided in the UFLPA Strategy issued by the FLETF, responded to all CBP inquiries for information and established by clear and convincing evidence that the goods were not made with forced labor. DHS is required to submit a report to Congress (which will be made public) with any granted exceptions outlining the evidence supporting the exception.
CBP issued the UFLPA Importer Guidance on June 13, 2022. Per CBP, this guidance is intended to assist the trade community in preparing for the implementation of the UFLPA rebuttable presumption and to provide transparency to CBP’s operational approach. CBP’s guidance document advises importers to consult the UFLPA Strategy which was issued on June 17, 2022. The UFLPA Strategy provides importers with interpretive guidance on the scope of the compliance program (in addition to the import specific documentation) that importers must follow to overcome the presumption. It also provides guidance to importers on due diligence, supply chain tracing, and supply chain management measures.
UFLPA Entity List
The UFLPA Strategy provides the names of entities in Xinjiang that mine, produce, or manufacture in whole or in part any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise with forced labor. These entities were previously named in WROs and/or the DOC BIS Entity List. The entity list will be updated throughout the year and importers should review this list periodically.
High Priority Sectors
The UFLPA Strategy lists apparel, cotton and cotton products, silica-based products (including polysilicon), tomatoes and downstream products as high priority sectors. This information is based off the Department of Labor’s Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act List. The UFLPA Strategy provides information about enforcement plans for each high priority sector.
Out of Scope Goods
Importers can attempt to demonstrate that their detained goods are outside of the UFLPA scope. Importers will have to provide information to show that the imported goods and their inputs are sourced completely outside of Xinjiang and have no connection to the UFLPA Entity List.
The type, nature, and extent of information required from the importer will vary depending on the circumstances of the imported goods. This should allow flexibility to provide documentation consistent with each importer’s business operations. Documents should be translated into English for CBP to properly evaluate the documentation. Supply chain tracing is the general method to demonstrate that goods fall outside the scope of UFLPA.
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