A new guidance has been released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assist with preparing for the execution of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) rebuttable presumption, which is an assumption made by a court that is taken to be true unless someone contests it. Taking effect on June 21, the UFLPA was signed into the US policy to strengthen the prohibition against importation of goods made with forced labor. As a means of establishing a rebuttable presumption that the importation “any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of of China, or produced by certain entities on the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) Entity List, is prohibited by Section 307 of the 1930 Tariff Act and that such goods, wares, articles, and merchandise are not entitled to entry to the U.S.”
Wanting to make sure everyone was aware of certain things within the document, the agency stated that this document is “intended to provide operational guidance to trade stakeholders and complements the UFLPA strategy guidance.” Importers are required to comply with importer guidance in the UFLPA strategy, according to UFLPA, Section 3(b).
Unless the CBP Commissioner determines that the importer of record has fully complied with FLETF-issued importer guidance, which includes but is not limited to; responding to all inquiries, and determined by clear and convincing evidence, that the goods, wares, articles, or merchandise were not produced using forced labor, this presumption remains in effect.
Certain important highlights include:
- Imports imported on or after June 21st (not entered)
- Should goods be under a Work Release Order (WRO) before, they are under UFLPA now. (The major difference being WRO gives 3 months to get information to the CBP, whereas UFLPA gives 30 days.) This detention process is governed by 1499.
- Importers can give information to CBP to have identical shipments that have been previously reviewed and determined admissible to speed up the release of identical shipments.
- Seizure is possible.
- UFLPA exception requests are different from scope decisions.
- May have benefits to CTPAT companies
The latter of which includes as a benefit of being a CTPAT company:
- Less number of CBP examinations
- Front of the line inspections
- Potential exemption from Stratified Exams
- Shorter wait times at borders
- Supply Chain Security Specialist will be assigned to the company
- Access to the Free And Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders
- Access to the CTPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
- Being recognized as a trusted trade Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States
- Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Secure Supply Chain program
- Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
- Importer eligibility to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
- Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise
Despite the guidance being there for all to see, Sobel will be constantly checking the agencies UFLPA website for any updated information that we need to bring to you. As your freight forwarder, we want to make sure that you have little to no hassle in following the guidelines of the UFLPA and ensure that your goods are well taken care of through all of this. If you have any questions, please contact your Sobel representative today.