A year following the commencement of the UFPLA (Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act) in June 2022, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has apprehended nearly 4,300 shipments subject to UFLPA review or enforcement actions, with a combined value exceeding $1.3 billion. According to the agency's data, this represents a significant increase compared to the $485 million worth of goods detained in 2021 and less than $50 million for 2020.1

Although the UFLPA primarily aims to address imports originating from forced labor in China's XinjiangUyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), CBP has stated that shipments from China accounted for only 12 percent of the total value of detained goods over the past year. Malaysia and Vietnam have both experienced a greater number of goods being detained under the UFLPA compared to China. Since UFLPA enforcement began, Malaysia has accounted for $835 million of detained goods, with Vietnam accounting for $389 million, significantly higher than China's $161 million.2

Eric Choy, CBP Executive Director for Trade Remedy and Law Enforcement, has emphasized that the agency must continue monitoring the flow of commodities from Xinjiang in order to prevent products produced with forced labor from entering U.S. commerce. Under the UFLPA, CBP possesses the authority to detain goods that are either wholly or partially mined, produced, or manufactured in Xinjiang, or by entities listed on the UFPLA Entity List, until importers provide the agency with evidence that the merchandise was not manufactured using forced labor.

As enforcement of the UFLPA enters its second year, CBP has declared that it is committed to continuing collaboration with trade associations, non-governmental organizations, U.S. federal agencies, and foreign governments in the global fight against forced labor. Furthermore, the agency has stated that it intends to continue providing technical assistance to U.S. allies and partners in addressing global forced labor concerns. CBP has observed exporters utilizing various tactics to evade UFLPA restrictions, such as altering company identities, relocating operations, and falsely claiming divestment from countries with forced labor concerns. Eric Choy has highlighted that the agency has found issues with documentation submitted to ports of entry and urged companies to exercise thorough due diligence in their supply chains.3

Enacted by Congress in December 2021, the UFLPA strengthens CBP's authority to prohibit the entry of goods produced with forced labor from entering U.S. commerce. The law assumes that goods mined, manufactured, or produced wholly or partially in the XUAR or by entities listed on the UFLPA Entities List employ forced labor and are therefore required to be banned from entering the U.S. under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The UFLPA also mandates that the President of the United States impose sanctions on "any foreign person who 'knowingly engages' in forced labor using minority Muslims and requires companies to disclose all transactions involving Xinjiang.4


1 https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/border-security/cbp-continues-to-set-global-standard-in- fight-against-forced-labor-one-year-of-uyghur-forced-labor-prevention-act-implementation/

2 https://insidetrade.com/trade/cbp-official-us-has-seen-lot-uflpa-evasion-first-year

3 https://insidetrade.com/trade/cbp-official-us-has-seen-lot-uflpa-evasion-first-year

4 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-xinjiang-labor/u-s-lawmakers-seek-to-tighten-ban-on-forced-labor-goods-from-chinas-xinjiang-idUSKBN20Y2DQ

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