CBP Releases Known Importer Letters and Enforcement Guidance relating to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Earlier this 12 months, U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) launched an announcement on its web site that it will be issuing letters to importers recognized as having beforehand imported merchandise from areas or entities doubtlessly topic to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).  Properly, CBP caught to its phrase and only in the near past launched two pattern Known Importer Letters.

One among the letters is particularly directed to Customs Commerce Partnership Towards Terrorism[1] (CTPAT) members,[2] whereas the different is directed to different U.S. importers. Each letters notify recipients that they “previously imported merchandise from locations or entities potentially subject to the Act.”  The CTPAT letters additionally point out that “subsequent entries of such merchandise may result in, among other things, suspension or removal from the CTPAT program, seizure, forfeiture and/or penalties, or other appropriate action under the customs laws.”  The non-CTPAT letters point out that “any future entries of such merchandise may be subject to CBP enforcement action, including seizure, forfeiture and/or penalties, or other appropriate action under the customs laws.”  You’ll be able to view the textual content of every letter here.

In every letter, CBP urges importers to be proactive and carefully evaluate their provide chains to be certain that items or supplies aren’t sourced from Xinjiang in violation of the UFLPA.  The burden is on importers to apply due diligence, efficient provide chain tracing, and provide chain administration to guarantee all imports are free from compelled labor.

If you happen to or your group haven’t obtained a Known Importer Letter from CBP, this doesn’t imply your group is in compliance with the UFLPA or that your provide chain is free from compelled labor.  All organizations are anticipated to evaluate their provide chains completely to guarantee items aren’t produced with compelled labor.

As well as to the Known Importer Letters, on Could 20, 2022, the CBP launched steering on enforcement mechanisms underneath the UFLPA.  CBP’s detention authority for items imported from Xinjiang arises underneath 19 CFR § 151.16.  Pursuant to 19 CFR § 151.16 (b), inside the 5-day interval (excluding weekends and holidays) following the date on which merchandise is introduced for CBP examination, CBP shall resolve whether or not to launch or detain merchandise. Merchandise that isn’t launched inside such a 5-day interval shall be thought of to be detained merchandise.

Beneath 19 CFR § 151.16 (c), if a choice to detain merchandise is made or the merchandise shouldn’t be launched inside the 5-day interval, CBP shall concern a discover to the importer or different celebration having an curiosity in such merchandise no later than 5 days after such determination or failure to launch.[3]  The discover of detention shouldn’t be to be construed as a remaining willpower as to the admissibility of the merchandise.  Ultimate willpower with respect to the admissibility of detained merchandise might be made inside 30 days from the date the merchandise is introduced for CBP examination, and such willpower could also be the topic of a protest.[4]  19 CFR § 151.16 (e).

CBP anticipates releasing extra technique and steering prematurely of the UFLPA taking impact on June 21, 2022.  We’re monitoring the CBP releases and UFLPA carefully, so keep tuned for added updates.

[1] CTPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership that works with CBP and the commerce neighborhood to strengthen worldwide provide chains and enhance US border safety.  The Safety and Accountability for Each Port Act of 2006 supplied a statutory framework for the CTPAT program and imposed strict program oversight necessities.

[2] The members embrace U.S. importers/exporters, U.S./Canada freeway carriers; U.S./Mexico freeway carriers; rail and sea carriers; licensed U.S. Customs brokers; U.S. marine port authority/terminal operators; U.S. freight consolidators; ocean transportation intermediaries and non-operating frequent carriers; Mexican and Canadian producers; and Mexican long-haul carriers, all of whom account for over 52 p.c (by worth) of cargo imported into the U.S.

[3] The contents of the discover are outlined in 19 CFR § 151.16, which you’ll be able to view here.

[4] 19 USC § 1514 outlines the Protest course of towards choices by CBP concerning any detained merchandise.

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