U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced 18 September that it modified the Withhold Release Order (WRO) issued on Oct. 21, 2021, against Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its wholly owned subsidiaries (Supermax Glove Manufacturing, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd., and Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd.) due to successful remediation of forced labor indicators in the company’s supply chain.
Effective immediately, CBP will allow imports of disposable gloves manufactured by Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its wholly owned subsidiaries to enter the U.S., provided they are otherwise in compliance with U.S. laws.
“Today’s action underscores the ongoing impact of CBP’s enforcement efforts in driving remediation and eliminating forced labor from supply chains,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy A. Miller. “Everyone is entitled to humane and dignified treatment in the workplace, no matter who they are or where they live, and that’s why this work matters.”
CBP began enforcing a WRO against Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its wholly owned subsidiaries based on evidence reasonably indicating the presence of 10 of the 11 International Labour Organization indicators of forced labor. In response to the WRO, the company demonstrated to CBP that it has taken steps to remediate the forced labor indicators identified in its supply chain.
“Our vigilance on this issue is showing industry and the world that we are fully committed to elevating the ethical standard of goods entering the U.S. and ending forced labor,” said AnnMarie R. Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade.
Thus far in fiscal year 2023, CBP has issued four modifications. CBP’s forced labor enforcement efforts have resulted in the improvement of living and working conditions for tens of thousands of workers, including the repayment of more than $50 million in withheld wages and recruitment fees used to trap workers in debt bondage.
19 U.S.C. § 1307 prohibits the importation of “[a]ll goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor, or/and indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor[.]” When CBP has information reasonably indicating that imported goods are made by forced labor, the agency will order personnel at U.S. ports of entry to detain shipments of those goods. Such shipments will be excluded and subject to seizure and forfeiture if the importer fails to demonstrate proof of admissibility in accordance with 19 CFR § 12.43 or to export the shipment.
CBP has established a process through which interested parties may request the modification or revocation of a WRO or Finding. The required evidence and timeline for modification or revocation may vary depending upon the specific circumstances of each individual case. CBP does not modify WROs or Findings until the agency has evidence demonstrating that the subject merchandise is no longer produced, manufactured, or mined using forced labor.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.