The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced new enforcement actions to eliminate the use of forced labor practices in the U.S. supply chain and promote accountability for the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), chaired by DHS, added two People’s Republic of China (PRC)-based companies to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List.
Effective August 2, 2023, goods produced by Camel Group Co., Ltd. and Chenguang Biotech Group Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary Chenguang Biotechnology Group Yanqi Co. Ltd. will be restricted from entering the United States as a result of the companies’ participation in business practices that target members of persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities in the PRC. Camel Group Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Xiangyang City, Hubei Province, PRC and is among China’s largest lead-acid battery manufacturers. Chenguang Biotech Group Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Handan, Hebei province and produces plant-based extracts, food additives, natural dyes, pigments, and supplements from agricultural products; its subsidiary Chenguang Biotechnology Group Yanqi Co. Ltd. is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. DHS will publish the revised UFLPA Entity List as an appendix to a Federal Register notice.
“Today’s enforcement actions demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to holding organizations accountable for their egregious human rights abuses and forced labor practices,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We will continue to work with all of our partners to keep goods made with forced labor from Xinjiang out of U.S. commerce while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade.”
Today’s announcement brings the total number of entities designated on the UFLPA Entity List to 24 companies. The UFLPA, signed into law by President Biden in December 2021, prohibits goods from being imported into the United States that are either produced in Xinjiang, or by entities identified on the UFLPA Entity List, unless the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determines, by clear and convincing evidence, that the goods were not produced with forced labor. CBP began enforcing the UFLPA in June 2022. Since then, CBP has reviewed more than 4,600 shipments valued at more than $1.64 billion under the UFLPA. The FLETF —which also includes the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Departments of Labor, State, the Treasury, Justice and Commerce— will continue to consider designations to the UFLPA Entity List.
In addition to today’s announcement, DHS is releasing the 2023 Updates to the Strategy to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, Produced, or Manufactured with Forced Labor in the People’s Republic of China as required by Congress. The DHS Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans; CBP; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are leading the Department’s efforts to change importers’ behavior and hold perpetrators accountable for egregious forced labor abuses as outlined in the strategy.
“The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force continues to send a strong message to industry that the United States will not tolerate forced labor in our supply chains and that we will always stand up against cruel and inhumane labor practices,” said the Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers. “We are committed to the eradication of forced labor around the world.”
You can read more about the FLETF by visiting: www.dhs.gov/uflpa.