On December 20, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against disposable gloves from Malaysia produced by Brightway Holdings Sdn Bhd, Laglove (M) Sdn Bhd, and Biopro (M) Sdn Bhd (collectively, Brightway Group). CBP issued this latest WRO based on information that indicated that the entities used forced labor in their manufacturing operations. CBP specifically identified 10 of 11 possible indicators of forced labor from the International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) list in its investigation into Brightway Group.
Notably, this is CBP’s third WRO against disposable gloves produced in Malaysia this year. On October 21, CBP issued a WRO against disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corporation Bhd.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd., Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd., and Supermax Glove Manufacturing. Later, on November 4, another WRO was issued against disposable gloves produced by Smart Glove Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX3 Specialty Plant, Sigma Glove Industries, and Platinum Glove Industries Sdn Bhd. In both of those cases at least 7 of 11 possible indicators of forced labor were identified by CBP. In total CBP has now issued 8 WROs in 2021 – compared to 13 in 2020.
WROs are issued by the U.S. government when information reasonably but not conclusively indicates goods were made in whole or in part using forced labor. Merchandise detained under a WRO order must be exported immediately or a substantial submission made that provides specific information showing that the goods were not made with forced labor. To obtain a release of any shipment that has been subjected to a WRO, a certificate of origin along with this detailed statement regarding the merchandise’s production and supply chain origin must be submitted to CBP. CBP makes a determination on a case-by-case basis.
The Press Release from CBP is available here.
For more information on actions addressing human rights and forced labor abuses, contact our team and see previous posts below.