WASHINGTON–Effective June 17 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will detain imported merchandise made wholly or in part with hair products produced by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd. (Meixin) in Xinjiang, China.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Trade directed the issuance of a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against Meixin and its hair products based on information that reasonably indicated the use of prison labor with additional situations of forced labor including, but not limited to, excessive overtime, withholding of wages and restriction of movement.
Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor and indentured labor. This WRO will require detention of hair products and any such manufactured merchandise at all U.S. ports of entry. Customs and Border Protection provides importers of detained shipments with an opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.
All WROs are publicly available and listed by country on the Customs and Border Protection’s Forced Labor Withhold Release Orders and Findings page. The Forced Labor Division (FLD), established in 2017 within Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Trade, leads the enforcement of the prohibition on the importation of goods made from forced labor.
“As part of its trade enforcement responsibilities, Customs and Border Protection will continue to vigilantly monitor U.S.-bound supply chains for links to forced labor and will take swift enforcement actions to deter and disrupt the importation of merchandise made with forced labor,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Trade. “The use of forced labor is not just a serious human rights issue, but also brings about unfair competition in our global supply chains.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection receives allegations of forced labor from a variety of sources, including from the general public.