Canada and UK announce trade restrictions, response to forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region

Canada and UK announce trade restrictions

The governments of Canada and the UK issued releases announcing new measures to address alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.


The parallel announcements are designed to address the risk of forced labor-produced goods from entering the global supply chains and to confirm that businesses are not complicit in forced labor in Xinjiang.


Canada’s approach includes the following measures:

  • Prohibition of imports of goods produced wholly or in part by forced labour
  • Xinjiang “integrity declaration” for Canadian companies
  • Business advisory on Xinjiang-related entities
  • Enhanced advice to Canadian businesses
  • Export controls
  • Increasing awareness for responsible business conduct linked to Xinjiang
  • Study on forced labour and supply chain risks

Read the Canadian release (January 12, 2021)

United Kingdom

The UK measures include:

  • A review of export controls as they apply to Xinjiang to “ensure the government is doing all it can to prevent the exports of goods that may contribute to human rights abuses in the region.” This review will determine which additional specific products will be subject to export controls in future.
  • The introduction of financial penalties for a failure to meet statutory obligations to publish annual modern slavery statements.
  • New, robust, and detailed guidance for UK businesses, setting out the specific risks faced by companies with links to Xinjiang and underlining the challenges of effective due diligence.
  • An announcement of future guidance and support for all UK public bodies to use in their public procurement rules to exclude suppliers when there is sufficient evidence of human rights violations in supply chains. Compliance will be mandatory for central government, non-departmental bodies, and executive agencies

Read the UK release (January 12, 2021)

For more information on this topic or to learn more about KPMG’s Trade & Customs Services, contact:

Doug Zuvich
Partner and Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022

John L. McLoughlin
Principal and East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614

Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057

Steve Brotherton
Principal and Global Export and Sanctions Leader
T: 415-963-7861

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
T: 212-954-3094

Irina Vaysfeld
T: 212-872-2973

Amie Ahanchian
T: 202-533-3247

Christopher Young
T: 312-665-3229

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779

George Zaharatos
T: 404-222-3292

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533

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