Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Goes into Effect: What Companies Need to Know about U.S. Guidance on Implementation and Enforcement
- The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) went into effect on June 21,2022, and requires the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to presume that all goods manufactured wholly or in part in the XUAR, or by the entities identified by the U.S. government on June 17, 2022, are made with forced labor and banned from import to the United States, unless the importer demonstrates otherwise (a “rebuttable presumption”).
- Guidance and Reports published in the week leading up to June 21 identify key information for companies seeking to comply with the law, maintain U.S. imports, and understand the supply chain information that may be required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Where the presumption of forced labor applies, rebutting it will require an importer to overcome a high bar by providing “clear and convincing” evidence; however, this same high standard will not necessarily apply to demonstrating that imports have no connection with the XUAR.
Effective June 21, 2022, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) requires CBP to apply a rebuttable presumption that all goods imported from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China are made with forced labor and banned from import to the United States under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The presumption of forced labor also applies to goods made in, or shipped through, China and other countries that include inputs made in the XUAR. For further background on the Act, please see our prior posts here and here.
Prior to the June 21 implementation date, the U.S. government provided multiple sources of guidance. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published explanatory documents, including Operational Guidance for Importers, on June 13. CBP also hosted multiple public webinars in May and June at which CBP personnel discussed implementation approach and evidentiary standards. Finally, the U.S. Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) released its “Strategy to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, Produced, or Manufactured with Forced Labor in the People’s Republic of China” (the “FLETF Strategy Report”) on June 17, 2022, a report directed by statute. The FLETF Strategy Report identifies entities that must be treated with the presumption of forced labor, provides additional guidance on implementation of the UFLPA, and describes compliance requirements for companies seeking to rebut the presumption of forced labor.