17 months since it's last issuance of a Withhold Release Order (WRO), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revives its enforcement mechanism to target a Chinese importer and its affiliates operating in the safety products industry.

Effective Wednesday, April 10, 2024, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain work gloves manufactured by Shanghai Select Safety Products Company, Limited and its two subsidiaries from China, Select (Nantong) Safety Products Co. Limited and Select Protective Technology (HK) Limited. CBP personnel will detain these products at all U.S. ports of entry and detained shipments will be excluded or subject to seizure and forfeiture if proof of admissibility is not presented to CBP by the importer.

Shanghai Select Safety Products Company, Limited and its two subsidiaries were issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) by CBP due to evidence of use of convict labor. WROs are a tool to combat forced labor and other human rights abuses throughout the world, emphasizing to foreign suppliers that forced labor is not welcome in supply chains in the United States. This WRO is now one of fifty-two overseen and enforced by CBP.

The WRO issued on April 10, marks CBP's first WRO targeting a Chinese entity since the entry into force of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). To put matters into perspective, in fiscal year 2023, CBP issued one WRO and modified one finding and three WROs. The move to re-target Chinese importers follows Executive director of Trade Remedy Law Enforcement Directorate at CBP, Eric Choy's statement in an interview during the CBP Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit where he mentioned he expected there to be a WRO to be announced before October.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.