On May 4, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the seizure of almost 4 million nitrile disposable gloves valued at over half a million dollars. The seizure was made following the receipt of information leading to a March 29, 2021, forced labor finding against Malaysia-based Top Glove Corporation Bhd (Top Glove). The finding determined that disposable gloves produced by Top glove have been mined, produced, or manufactured with the use of convict, forced, or indentured labor.
The Agency’s Press Release included 4 out of the 11 possible forced labor indicators:
• Debt bondage
• Excessive Overtime
• Abusive living and working conditions
• Retention of Identify Documents
Additional forced labor indicators include: Abuse of vulnerability, deception, restriction of movement, isolation, physical and sexual violence, intimidation and threats, and withholding of wages
Accordingly, Port officials were given the authority to seize gloves under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 3926.20.1020, 4015.11.0150, 4015.19.0510, 4015.19.0550, 4015.19.1010, 4015.19.1050, and 4015.19.5000 made in whole or in part by Top Glove.
Diann Rodriguez, Area Port Director-Cleveland stated that the “seizure sends a strong message that CBP will not tolerate imports made by forced labor, which is a form of modern slavery that hurts vulnerable workers and threatens our economy.”
A copy of the press release is available here.
For more information on actions addressing human rights and forced labor abuses, contact our team and see previous posts below.