Last Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its monthly Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act enforcement statistics. The UFLPA establishes a rebuttable presumption that goods produced in whole or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, or by specific named entities, involve forced labor and therefore cannot be imported into the United States pursuant to Section 307 of the U.S. Tariff Act.
The UFLPA, as well as compliance guidance published by the U.S. government, are discussed in detail in our earlier Alert here.
Highlights from the most recent enforcement statistics update are below. The statistics can be further sliced and diced by country of origin, shipment status and value and industry.
- To date, 5,346 shipments with a value of $1.8 billion have been detained. Of these, 2,033 shipments have been released and 2,325 have been denied entry into the U.S.
- In August, 313 shipments valued at $68 million were detained, a decrease from prior months. This compares to 352 shipments with a value of $107 million detained in July and in June 389 detained shipments with a value of $241 million. August had the lowest shipment value since last December ($51 million) and the lowest number of shipments since January (264 shipments).
- The top five industries for detentions in August were: (1) electronics (168); (2) apparel, footwear and textiles (56); (3) base metals (32); (4) industrial and manufacturing materials (26); and (5) agriculture and prepared products (11).
- In August, the four top countries of origin by shipment value, and the top product category for each, were: (1) Malaysia - $23 million/36 shipments; electronics (36 shipments); (2) Viet Nam -$17 million/144 shipments; electronics (100 shipments); (3) China - $17 million/96 shipments; base metals (32 shipments); and (4) Thailand - $12 million/30 shipments; electronics (30 shipments).
- UFLPA enforcement remains robust. Don’t read too much into the decline over the last couple of months, especially given the current political climate.
- There is a misconception by many importers that CBP only is focused on shipments coming directly from China. The enforcement statistics show that is not the case.
- Many products and industries have detention risk, not just those publicly identified as high-priority. CBP approaches UFLPA enforcement based on high-risk entities, rather than industries or commodities.
- Importers that have not already done so should assess their compliance procedures against CBP’s published due diligence guidance and FAQs.
- Downstream commercial customers should consider whether their importers’ compliance procedures present business risk.