Comment Period for UFLPA Opens on January 24

As an update to our Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) post, the public comment period will open on Monday, January 24, 2022.  A Federal Register Notice will be published on Monday and the 45-day comment period will end on March 10, 2022.  The UFLPA was signed on December 23, 2021 and will take effect on June 21, 2022.

As required by the UFLPA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on behalf of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (“FLETF”), is seeking comments on how best to ensure that goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor in China are not imported into the United States.  A non-exhaustive list of questions from the Federal Register Notice for commenters is provided below:

  • What are the risks of importing goods, wares, articles and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor in the People’s Republic of China, including from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or made by Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tibetans, or members of other persecuted groups in any other part of the People’s Republic of China?
  • To the extent feasible, as part of the assessment of risks, what mechanisms, including the potential involvement in supply chains of entities that may use forced labor, could lead to the importation into the United States from the People’s Republic of China, including through third countries, of goods, wares, articles and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor?
  • What forms does the use of forced labor take in the People’s Republic of China and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region? For example, what “pairing assistance” and “poverty alleviation” or other government labor schemes exist in the People’s Republic of China that include the forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tibetans, or members of other persecuted groups outside of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region? What similar programs exist in which work or services are extracted from Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tibetans, or members of other persecuted groups under the threat of penalty or for which they have not offered themselves voluntarily?
  • What goods are mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or by entities that work with the government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, or receive forced labor?

All comments and material submitted will be available online.

For more information on the UFLPA and actions addressing human rights and forced labor abuses, contact our team.