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Forced Labor

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On June 23, 2022, the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office on Trafficking in Persons (“OTIP”) issued a request for information (“RFI”) on forced labor, a form of human trafficking, in healthcare supply chains. This RFI is part of OTIP’s ongoing efforts to seek public comments to inform implementation of Executive Order 14001 “A Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain”, the National Strategy for a Resilient Public Health Supply Chain, and other related…

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) took effect on June 21, 2022, and establishes a rebuttable presumption that all goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in Xinjiang, China, or by entities identified on the “UFLPA Entity List,” are made with forced labor and prohibits them from entry into the United States under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930. A few days prior to the implementation of the UFLPA, US…

On June 13, 2022, US Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued the long-awaited Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) Operational Guidance for Importers (“CBP UFLPA Guidance”). The UFLPA requires CBP to apply a presumption that imports of all merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in Xinjiang, China, or by entities identified on the “UFLPA Entity List,” are presumed to be made with forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the United…

This week Florida’s two senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, introduced a bill imposing several China specific public disclosure obligations, including disclosures related to sourcing activities related to products utilizing forced labor from Xinjiang, China (“the Bill”). The Bill would apply to all publicly traded companies and supplements the proposed SEC environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) disclosures, discussed here, and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”), which will come into effect in June 2022…

In a sign that Congress continues to pursue bipartisan efforts to combat the use of forced labor in supply chains, Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have reintroduced the Slave-Free Business Certification Act of 2022 (“the Act”). The Act is substantively similar to a July 2020 bill, which we have previously discussed on our blog. The Act would impose significant new compliance and disclosure requirements for many companies, requiring businesses with annual, worldwide…

On 23 February 2022, the EU Commission published its proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence obligations, which aims to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour throughout global value chains. Scope The new due diligence rules will apply to: all EU limited liability companies with 500+ employees and EUR 150 million+ in net turnover worldwide (“Group 1”); and other limited liability companies operating in defined high impact sectors (e.g. the textile, mining and…

The potential impact of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“Act”) is sweeping. For companies concerned about potential supply chain disruptions, there is now opportunity to help shape the enforcement strategy required under the Act. On January 24, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security published in the Federal Register a request for public comments. To date, few comments have been submitted. US importers and other interested parties should consider submitting comments that will both inform…

The compromise version of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (HR 6256) (“Act”) was recently passed by both chambers of Congress, and the legislation is now cleared for President Biden’s signature. It is expected that President Biden will sign the legislation into law soon. With strong bipartisan support, earlier versions of this legislation had passed the US House and Senate in the preceding months, and lawmakers reached an agreement that merged versions from each chamber. …

A recent Washington Post article about child labor in the Brazilian acai industry underscores the need for companies to develop compliance programs intended to identify and mitigate the risk of possible child labor in their supply chains. Not only is acai used in trendy health foods as noted in the article, but acai is also used as a base for other products. The article focuses on acai berries sourced from two regions in Brazil that…

On November 10, the Department of State (“DOS”), Department of Treasury, and Department of Commerce released an advisory titled “Considerations for US Companies and Organizations that Conduct Business in Cambodia within Key Sectors or in Partnership with High Risk Entities” (the “Cambodia Advisory”). The Cambodia Advisory is focused on corporations and, according to the accompanying press release, is meant to caution businesses currently operating, or considering operations, in Cambodia to be mindful of interactions with…