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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

New US restrictions on unethical textile imports

The Department of Homeland Security has enhanced strategy to combat illicit trade in textile and apparel products.  Now, the importers of such goods are advised to begin validating documents throughout their supply chains.

The acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Troy Miller who unveiled the new restrictions said, this plan ensures we are holding them accountable: violators will not qualify for preferential duty treatment under USMCA, CAFTA-DR, or other trade agreements, and will be subject to payment of duties owed, penalties, seizures, and criminal investigations.

The new plan focuses on improving screening of packages claiming the Section 321 de minimis exemption for textile, Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and other violations, including expanded targeting, laboratory and isotopic testing, and focused enforcement operations

Conducting joint U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Homeland Security Investigations trade special operations (15 of which are already underway) to ensure cargo compliance, including physical inspections (300 of which have been done to date); country-of-origin, isotopic, and composition testing; and in-depth reviews of documentation

Issuing civil penalties for violations of U.S. laws and developing and conducting criminal investigations when warranted andbetter assessing risk by expanding customs audits (which have already been initiated on more than $10.5 billion in textile imports) and increasing foreign verifications, including textile production verification team visits to high-risk foreign facilities, to ensure that textiles qualify under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement or the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (visits have already been completed to 44 factories and five raw material providers covering $800 million in textile imports)

Engaging in an education campaign to ensure that importers and suppliers in the USMCA and CAFTA-DR regions understand compliance requirements and are aware of CBP’s enforcement efforts, leveraging U.S. and Central American industry partnerships to improve facilitation for legitimate trade, reviewing additional entities in the high-priority textile sector for inclusion in the UFLPA Entity List (ten textile sector entities have already been added).

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