CBP modifies “withhold release order” to allow certain tobacco imports from Malawi

Certain tobacco imports from a Malawi company will be admissible at all U.S. ports of entry, effective May 21, 2021.

Certain tobacco imports from a Malawi company will be admissible

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) modified an existing “withhold release order” (WRO) on certain imports of tobacco from Malawi.

According to a CBP release, certain tobacco imports from a Malawi company, harvested by “club growers” (smallholder growers that use little or no farm worker labor), will be admissible at all U.S. ports of entry, effective May 21, 2021. CBP previously prohibited the entry of these imports into the United States based on reasonable suspicion that they were produced using forced labor.

  • CBP in November 2019 issued the WRO on tobacco imports from Malawi due to information reasonably indicating that the tobacco was produced using forced labor and forced child labor.
  • CBP modified the November 2019 WRO based on a revaluation of the Malawi company’s social compliance program and efforts to identify and minimize the risks of forced labor in its supply chain.

According to CBP, these actions produced evidence that sufficiently supported the Malawi company’s claims that tobacco from club growers was not grown and harvested using forced labor or forced child labor.

This is the third time that CBP has modified the WRO on tobacco from Malawi. 
 

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Steve Brotherton
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Luis (Lou) Abad
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Irina Vaysfeld
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Amie Ahanchian
Principal
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