The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), chaired by US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has added Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co. Ltd., Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile Co. Ltd., and Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile Co to the UFLPA Entity List meaning their goods 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.”

The three Chinese apparel and textile companies banned are headquartered in Xinjiang. Xinjiang Zhongtai Group is a producer and seller of viscose yarn, other textiles, and chemical and building materials. While, Xinjiang Tianshan Wool is a seller and manufacturer of cashmere and wool garments, as well as velvet and other textiles products. And, Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation is a producer of yarn and textile products.

The three could not be reached for comment at time of press.

DHS further adds it will publish the revised UFLPA entity list as an appendix to a Federal Register notice. This announcement brings the total number of entities designated on the UFLPA Entity List to 27 companies.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas says: “We do not tolerate companies that use forced labour, that abuse the human rights of individuals in order to make a profit.”

He continues that DHS and its partners across the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to prosecute these companies, fight for the rights of the abused, and work towards eliminating Uyghur forced labour in the People’s Republic of China.

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Advisory to apparel, textile and other businesses

In its continuing efforts to bring forced labour practices to an end, the DHS recently released the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory Addendum collaboratively with the US Department of State along with the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and Labor.

DHS explains the addendum contains information about the ongoing, widespread, and pervasive risks in supply chains posed by “PRC-sponsored” forced labour and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang, as well as implementation and enforcement of the UFLPA that would be of particular interest to the business and importing communities.

It adds that since the last Xinjiang Business Advisory was published in July 2021, there have been additional reports on the continuing human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

The Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans Robert Silvers, says: “The United States does not, and will not, tolerate products made with forced labour coming into our country. Through the enforcement actions taken today, the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force is again making clear our country’s resolve to keep the global supply chain fair, just, and secure for all.”

Last month, DHS also released 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.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) was implemented by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in June 2022. Following this, the Pacific nation has continued transparent enforcement of UFLPA through its interactive dashboard detailing statistics of shipments denied, released or pending.

However, a recent US court ruling criticised US CBP for detaining goods with “little to no information.”

In other news, Europe is not so far behind either with the European Commission (EC) proposing its anti-forced labour goods regulation.