U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently published a Frequently Asked Questions page on its website regarding imported goods from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that are currently subject to withhold release orders.
In January, withhold release orders were issued against cotton and tomatoes and their downstream products produced in whole or in part in the XUAR, including downstream products made outside the region that incorporate banned inputs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Topics covered by this additional guidance are as follows:
- What is the scope of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Withhold Release Order?
- Can imported goods within the scope of the WRO be seized if they were imported and/or received prior to the WRO being put in place?
- Does the WRO apply to goods in a Foreign Trade Zone or warehouse?
- Will CBP communicate detentions directly to importers or will it communicate with customs brokers? Will detention communications specify that the detention is because of the WRO or provide specific instructions to the importers on how to respond?
Proof of Admissibility
- What guidance can CBP offer regarding proof of admissibility?
- What evidence will CBP require from importers who have goods detained pursuant to the WRO to prove that the goods were not produced with forced labor?
- If an importer has a shipment detained, who should importers work with to demonstrate their shipment is compliant? Should importers work with the port of entry executing the detention or the importer’s assigned Center of Excellence?
Due Diligence/Best Practices
- What are the best practices recognized by CBP for importers to ensure their suppliers are not engaging in forced labor?
- How should importers ensure due diligence if they do not have a direct relationship with the upstream suppliers/manufacturers?
- Will CBP allow importers to remove and enter goods that are not subject to the WRO from containers that include detained goods? What is the process for entering such containers?
- Will CBP treat individual company information confidentially with respect to enforcement?
Need More Information?
Should you have any questions about this issue, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts.