U.S. to detain cotton and tomato products, Uyghur forced labor in China

U.S. to detain cotton and tomato products

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that effective January 13, 2021, it will detain, at all U.S. ports of entry, cotton products and tomato products produced in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

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The CBP release explains that CBP issued a “withhold release order” (WRO) against cotton products and tomato products produced in Xinjiang, based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor. CBP identified certain forced labor indicators through the course of its investigation. The WRO directs CBP personnel at all U.S. ports of entry to detain cotton products and tomato products grown or produced by entities operating in Xinjiang. These products include apparel, textiles, tomato seeds, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and other goods made with cotton and tomatoes.

Importers are responsible for confirming the products they are attempting to import do not exploit forced labor at any point in their supply chain, including the production or harvesting of the raw material.  

Background

  • The U.S. government in July 2020 issued an advisory to caution businesses about the reputational, financial, and legal risks of forced labor in Xinjiang.
  • CBP in December 2020 announced the issuance of a WRO on cotton and cotton products originating from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
  • This is the fourth WRO that CBP has issued since the beginning of fiscal year 2021, and the second on products originating in Xinjiang.
  • Eight of the 13 WROs that CBP issued in fiscal year 2020 concerned goods made with the use of forced labor in China.

All WROs are publicly available and listed by country on CBP’s Forced Labor WROs and Findings webpage.


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
E: dzuvich@kpmg.com

John L. McLoughlin
Principal and East Coast Leader
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E: jlmcloughlin@kpmg.com

Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057
E: asiciliano@kpmg.com

Steve Brotherton
Principal and Global Export and Sanctions Leader
T: 415-963-7861
E: sbrotherton@kpmg.com

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
T: 212-954-3094
E: labad@kpmg.com

Irina Vaysfeld
Principal
T: 212-872-2973
E: ivaysfeld@kpmg.com

Amie Ahanchian
Principal
T: 202-533-3247
E: aahanchian@kpmg.com

Christopher Young
Principal
T: 312-665-3229
E: christopheryoung@kpmg.com

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779
E: gbelotto@kpmg.com

George Zaharatos
Principal
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E: gzaharatos@kpmg.com

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
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E: adoornaert@kpmg.com

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533
E: jlibby@kpmg.com

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