Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will be issuing known importer letters to importers the agency has identified as having previously imported merchandise that may be subject to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). CBP aims to issue these letters in advance of June 21, 2022 – which is when the UFLPA’s rebuttal presumption goes into effect – in order to encourage notified importers to address any forced labor issues in their supply chains in a timely manner.

The UFLPA’s rebuttable presumption states that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People’s Republic of China, or produced by an entity on a list required by clause (i), (ii), (iv) or (v) of section 2(d)(2)(B) of the UFLPA, will be prohibited from entry into the United States.

Notably, importers that don’t receive a known importer letter are still liable to face enforcement. Per CBP’s announcement, if an importer does not receive a letter, it “does not mean that [their] supply chain is free of forced labor.” The announcement explicitly states that “all importers are expected to review their supply chains thoroughly and institute reliable measures to ensure imported goods are not produced wholly or in part with convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor (including forced or indentured child labor).”

CBP’s announcement regarding the known importer letters can be found here.

For more information on CBP and actions addressing human rights and forced labor abuses, contact our team and see previous posts below.

UPDATE: Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Signed into Law | International Trade Law (cmtradelaw.com)

U.S. Senators Introduce the Slave-Free Business Certification Act | International Trade Law (cmtradelaw.com)