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CBP Regulations Amended to Reflect Stricter Prohibition on Imports Made with Forced Labour

CBP has amended its regulations, effective 8 June, to reflect section 910 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 by removing the “consumptive demand” clause from the regulations concerning the prohibition on the importation of merchandise produced by convict, forced or indentured labour. The regulations have also been modified to reflect the correct name of the agency as well as a minor procedural change with regard to the filing of proof of admissibility.

Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 prohibits the importation of merchandise that has been mined, produced or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced labour, including prison labour and forced child labour. Despite this general prohibition, the Tariff Act of 1930 included a “consumptive demand” clause that allowed for the importation of forced-labour-derived goods if the goods were not produced in such quantities in the United States as to meet the “consumptive demands” of the United States.

However, section 910 of TFTEA repealed the consumptive demand exception to the prohibition on the importation of goods made with convict labour, forced labour or indentured servitude. While CBP has been enforcing this ban without taking consumptive demand into consideration since section 910 went into effect on 10 March 2016, the conforming amendment is necessary to ensure that 19 CFR reflects the statutory amendment. It is worth noting that CBP has already used this mechanism to issue, as of mid-June 2017, four separate withhold release orders on certain soda ash, calcium chloride, caustic soda, potassium, potassium hydroxide, potassium nitrate, stevia and its derivatives, and peeled garlic from mainland China.

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