Photo courtesy of Department of Homeland Security.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) was signed into law on December 23, 2021, and went into effect on June 21, 2022. In summary, the law states that goods mined, produced, or manufactured in whole or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China are produced with forced labor and therefore prohibited from importation into the United States.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released importer guidance to assist the trade community in preparing for the implementation of the UFLPA.
Here is a summary of what the guidance covers:
Requesting an exception to the law.
Resources for supply-chain due diligence, tracing, and management.
Procedures for detention, release, exclusion, seizure, and forfeiture of imported goods.
Type of documentation to show due diligence, supply chain tracing, supply chain management, and goods origination.
Ways to demonstrate that imported goods are not subject to UFLPA.
Remediation of any forced labor conditions, independent verification and reporting
Keep in mind that the CBP guidance documentation is not exhaustive, but is intended to show the type of documents that CBP may require in order to enforce the law.
What can you do to comply?
Your duty is to make sure that you abide by the UFLPA law and the many other laws such as those governing the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), and sustainability aspects of your business. I covered the most common regulatory laws in this here.
The easiest way to ensure compliance is by thoroughly interrogating your supply chain.
It is important to survey all your suppliers and ask relevant questions that cover the regulatory laws applicable to your organization. For organizations with one or two suppliers, this can be done by emailing out a fillable form to the suppliers to document responses.
An alternative for medium to large organizations is to use exhaustive questionnaires that cover every aspect of federal regulations like those designed by Cloudsyte.