Effective June 21, 2022, under a new law the United States will ban imports of all goods made in whole or in part from any good from the Xingjian Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. Any company that currently utilizes manufacturers from this region will need to spend the next 180 days ensuring their supply chains do not include such goods.
The current administration signed into law on December 23, 2021, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which effectively deems all goods mined, produced, or manufactured in the XUAR to be produced by forced labor in China. The new law not only affects the importation of direct goods imported from China but also includes goods that may be produced in a second country that have affiliation at any level to XUAR or specific entities or commodities associated with forced labor. If Customs declares imported goods are to be found in affiliation with XUAR, the goods can be subject to detainment.
Under the new law, imported goods from XUAR will be banned unless U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines that:
1. The importer of record has fully complied with relevant guidance to be provided by CBP, as well as any regulations issued to implement that guidance;
2. The Importer has completely and substantively responded to all inquiries for information submitted by CBO to ascertain whether the goods were made wholly or in part with forced labor; and
3. By clear and convincing evidence, the goods were not made wholly or in part by forced labor.
Any goods or products from the XUAR that overcomes the rebuttable presumption of being made with forced labor will be included in a public list to be issued by CBP 30 days after making such a determination.
In addition to what has already been discussed and put into place, an interagency task force focused on Forced Labor will work to develop a strategy to prevent future importation of forced labor goods from China along with the following lists:
1. Entities in the XUAR that produce goods with forced labor;
2. Entities working with the government of the XUAR to recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, or receive forced labor or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of the XUAR;
3. Products made wholly or in part by such entities;
4. Entities that exported products made with forced labor from China to the U.S.
5. Facilities and entities, including the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps., that source material from the XUAR or persons working with the government of the XUAR or the XPCC for purposes of poverty alleviation program or pairing-assistance program or any other government labor scheme that uses forced labor.
A public comment period will be initiated by the Taskforce no later than Jan. 24, 2022, which will allow the public to submit comments and opinions. The comment period will be given no less than 45 days to receive a response in which after the 45-day period a public hearing must be held to conclude the public comment period.
Once the public comment period has been deemed closed, the State Department must then submit a report to Congress by March 23, 2022, that provides a strategy to address forced labor in the XUAR along with lists of (1) entities in China or affiliates that use or benefit from forced labor in the XUAR and (2) foreign persons that acted as agents of such entities or affiliates to import goods into the United States. The final strategy developed by the interagency task force must be in place by June 21, 2022.
Essentially with the new law taking effect, the Task Force will work to provide guidance to importers with respect to the following:
Due diligence, effective supply chain tracing, and supply chain management measures to ensure importers are not importing any goods made with forced labor from mainland China and specifically from the XUAR.
The type, nature, and extent of evidence that demonstrates that goods originating in mainland China were not made wholly or in part with forced labor;
The type, nature, and extent of evidence that demonstrates that goods originating from mainland China, including goods, detained, or seized pursuant to Section 307, were not made wholly or in part with forced labor.
For further follow-up and guidance, please review CSMS #51410367