Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA)
Summary of the UFLPA
Implementing Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act prohibits imports of products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People’s Republic of China due to forced labor violations.
“Forced labor” is defined by the Tariff Act as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not offer himself voluntarily.”
➤ It is the importer’s responsibility to exercise reasonable care in ensuring their merchandise was not mined, produced, manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor of any kind. Such merchandise is subject to exclusion and/or seizure, and may lead to criminal investigation of the importer(s).
Scope of the Act
This sanction will apply to “all goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, or by persons working with the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region government for purposes of the “poverty alleviation” program or the “pairing-assistance” program….”
CBP’s UFLPA Operational Guidance for Importers further explains the legislation applies to “imports of all goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), or by entities identified by the U.S. government on the UFLPA Entity List, are presumed to be made with forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the United States. The presumption also applies to goods made in, or shipped through, the PRC and other countries that include inputs made in Xinjiang.”
The only exception is if the CBP Commissioner determines—based on thorough evidence—those particular goods were not produced by forced labor, and submits a report to the applicable congressional committees.
Timeline of the UFLPA
June 21, 2022: the law goes into effect
Note there was already a Withhold Release Order (WRO) in effect for Cotton, Tomatoes, and Downstream Products imported from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, allowing CBP to detain these shipments unless sufficient proof is given that they were not produced by forced labor.
March 18, 2023: UFLPA Region Alert for ACE will go into effect — importers are required to provide a valid postal code for goods produced in China. Postal codes from the Xinjiang region of China will receive warning messages.
As part of their due diligence, importers are required to know the postal code for where their goods were mined/produced/manufactured. Customs will not provide a list of these codes.
⮞ Read the full Act
⮞ Read CBP’s Informed Compliance Publication on exercising reasonable care; pages 14-15 address forced labor
CBP released these additional resources for importers on February 23, 2023:
- UFLPA Enforcement FAQ
- Guidance on Executive Summaries and Sample Tables of Contents
- Best Practices for Applicability Reviews: Importer Responsibilities
This post was originally published on 04/05/22 and has been updated to include additional information.
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