US Customs Issues Withhold Release Order on Certain Cotton Products

April 12, 2021

Earlier this year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a withhold release order (WRO) on cotton products produced in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The CBP’s WRO includes downstream products produced outside the Xinjiang region such as wet mops, dust mops, apparel, textiles, and other goods made wholly or partly with cotton from the area. The order is based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor in the production of the products.

“The U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not tolerate forced labor of any kind in U.S. supply chains. We will continue to protect the American people and investigate credible allegations of forced labor, we will prevent goods made by forced labor from entering our country, and we demand the Chinese close their camps and stop their human rights violations,” said Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute.

For more information on the WRO, visit the CBP website.