On June 9, 2023, the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), added two companies based in the People Republic of China (PRC) to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List. The additions included Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co., Ltd., Ninestar Corporation, and eight of its Zhuhai-based subsidiaries. Effective June 12, 2023, the companies will be restricted from entering the United States. DHS stated in its notice that the companies worked with the government of Xinjiang to “recruit, transport, transfer, harbor or receive forced labor or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of Xinjiang.”
The UFLPA prohibits goods from being imported into the U.S that are either produced, in whole or in part, from goods in Xinjiang or produced by certain entities identified on the UFLPA Entity List, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the goods were not produced with forced labor. Through the course of investigations of products produced in Xinjiang, CBP has identified the following forced labor indicators which could result in a company being added to the UFLPA Entity List:
- Debt bondage,
- Restriction of movement,
- Intimidation and threats,
- Withholding of wages, and
- Abusive living and working conditions
DHS is tasked with maintaining the UFLPA Entity List pursuant to Section 2(d)(2)(B)(i) which requires “a list of entities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that mine, produce, or manufacture wholly or in part any goods, wares, articles and merchandise with forced labor.” In addition, any FLETF member agency may submit a recommendation to the FLETF Chair to add an entity to the UFLPA Entity List. The decision is then based off a majority vote of the FLETF member agencies.
There are currently 22 Chinese companies on the UFLPA Entity List. Companies can view the entities included on the UFLPA Entity List through the publication of Federal Register notices. The UFLPA Entity List will show the company’s tax identification numbers, geographical location, and company’s name in Chinese. To avoid importing products made with forced labor, the FLETF encourages the trade community to have a robust due diligence program. Companies should review the FLETF and UFLPA pages on DHS.gov for due diligence and supply chain resources.