CBP’s “withhold release order” on fishing fleet based in China

Information reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in the entity’s fishing operations.

Information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a “withhold release order” against a fishing company in China based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in the entity’s fishing operations.

The CBP release (May 28, 2021) indicates that:

  • CBP identified all 11 of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor during its investigation.
  • The new withhold release order instructs CBP personnel at all U.S. ports of entry to begin detaining tuna, swordfish, and other seafood harvested by vessels owned or operated by the Chinese company.
  • This is the first withhold release order CBP has issued against an entire fleet of fishing vessels.

KPMG observation

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in May 2021 submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning the use of forced labor on fishing vessels. The U.S. proposal, among other things, calls for WTO members to recognize the forced labor problem and the need to address it. Read TradeNewsFlash

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

Doug Zuvich
Partner and Global Practice Leader
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John L. McLoughlin
Principal and East Coast Leader
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Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
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Steve Brotherton
Principal and Global Export and Sanctions Leader
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E: sbrotherton@kpmg.com

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
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E: labad@kpmg.com

Irina Vaysfeld
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Amie Ahanchian
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Christopher Young
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Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
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George Zaharatos
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Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
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Jessica Libby
Managing Director
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