Tariff Act Section 307 Enforcement

How is Section 307 Enforced?

When CBP is notified that imports made with forced labor are entering the United States, the agency conducts an investigation to determine whether it should issue detention orders to exclude the tainted goods from entering U.S. markets. Information can reach CBP through a petition submitted by external actors, or through CBP’s own self-initiated inquiry. 

Under the Tariff Act, CBP has the power to issue a “Withhold Release Order” or “WRO” to prevent specific imports from being released in the United States. CBP issues  WROs only on reasonable suspicion of the involvement of forced labor in the overseas supply chain of the imported goods. Goods subject to a WRO will be detained at all U.S. ports.

What is the effect of a WRO?

A Withhold Release Order or WRO suspends the importation of goods at a U.S. port of entry.  Once a WRO has been issued, the goods are subject to detention. However, the importer has the option to re-export the goods to a location outside the United States within 3 months of importation. Alternatively, the importer can provide evidence demonstrating that the goods are not produced with forced labor and obtain a release of the goods from CBP custody. The affected importer has 3 months from the date of the importation in question to submit a ‘certificate of origin’  (or its electronic equivalent) from the foreign seller and a statement demonstrating that the goods were not produced with forced labor.

If the WRO is contested unsuccessfully or if the information submitted by the importer does not warrant admission of the goods, CBP will subject the detained goods to seizure and/or forfeiture.  Criminal investigations may also be initiated against the importer based on more conclusive proof of forced labor.

A snapshot 307 process before CBP:

Can a WRO be revoked or modified?

Yes, WROs may be revoked or modified by CBP. CBP will do so based on evidence that the subject goods were not made with forced labor,  are no longer being produced with forced labor, or are no longer being, or likely to be, imported into the United States.

Please see CBP’s fact sheet on detained shipments for more information.

Withhold Release Orders Issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection under Section 307 of the U.S. Tariff Act since 2019

Product CountryProducer targeted by the Withhold Release Order (WRO)Indicators of Forced Labor found by CBP in each case Date
Seafood
Tuna and Tuna products
N/AA shipping vessel - Tunago No. 61

(owned by the Tunago Fishery Co., Ltd., based in Vanuatu)
Indicators not specified by CBP but forced labor aboard the vessel has been well documented since 2006 and more recently, in reports from 2018.

*Revoked on April 1st, 2020
2019-02-04
Apparel/ Garments China
(Xinjiang)
Hetian Taida Apparel Company Ltd.• Forced Work
• Excessive hours
• Isolation
• Abuse of Vulnerability
• Little or no payment
• Restriction of movement
• Physical and Sexual Violence
2019-09-30
Disposable Rubber GlovesMalaysiaWRP Asia Pacific Not specified by CBP in press release.

Forced labor documented by media and civil society and government
investigations. The Malaysian Department of Labor for example, found evidence of non-payment of wages, delay in overtime payment and illegitimate deductions.

*Revoked on March 24th, 2020
2019-09-30
Gold mined in artisanal small mines Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)All gold from entire country of DRC• Presence of armed guards in 67-77% of mines indicating forced labor through intimidation and restriction of movement.
• Debt bondage
• Sexual Violence

Modified to allow Chambers Federation to import artisanal gold from DRC.
2019-09-30
Artisanal diamondsZimbabweMarange Diamond Fields• Police, military and other security forces in charge of guarding the mines form illegal mining syndicates. They allow artisanal miners’ access to the diamond mines in exchange for bribes and a share of the loot.
• Once the miners enter these syndicates, they are prevented from leaving under threats of physical and sexual violence and other forms of punishment like arrest for trespassing.
2019-09-30
Boneblack (Made from charring of cattle skeletons. Used in water purification and sugar refining)BrazilBonechar Carvao Ativado do Brazil Ltd.
(Maringa, Brazil)
• Abusive living and working conditions
• Restriction of Movement
• Isolation
• Debt Bondage
2019-09-30
TobaccoMalawiNearly all tobacco grown in the countryCBP press release only mentions that it found evidence of forced labor and forced child labor.

Forced labor and child labor well documented by international media outlets and other U.S. government agencies (U.S. Department of Labor and Department of State)

*WRO modified to allow Limbe Leaf and Alliance One International to import Malawian tobacco into the United States.
2019-11-01
Hair Products China
(Xinjiang)
Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Ltd.No information available.
2020-05-01
Seafood N/AA shipping vessel - Yu Long No.2

(Taiwanese owned and flagged vessel)
No information available. 2020-05-11
Hair Products China
(Xinjiang)
Lop County Meixin Hair Products Co. • Prison labor
• Excessive overtime
• withholding of wages and
• restriction of movement

High profile seizure by CBP of $800,000 worth of human hair suspected to be forcibly extracted from Uighur detainees.
2020-06-17
Disposable Rubber GlovesMalaysiaTop Glove (Malaysia)• Debt Bondage
• Abusive living and working conditions
• Withholding of Documents

The WRO followed extensive investigative reporting on abuses against workers in Malaysian Top Glove factories.
2020-07-15
GarmentsChina Hero Vast Group• Prison Labor2020-08-11
Seafood N/AA shipping vessel - Da Wang

(Vanuatu flagged and Taiwanese owned vessel)
• Physical violence
• Debt bondage
• Withholding of wages
• and abusive living and working conditions.
2020-08-18
Hair Products China
(Xinjiang)
Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park • Highly coercive/unfree recruitment
• Work and life under duress
• Restriction of movement
2020-08-25
Any ProductChina
(Xinjiang)
Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center• Prison Labor
• Highly coercive/unfree recruitment
• Work and life under duress
• Restriction of movement
2020-08-25
Apparel China
(Xinjiang)
• Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co
• Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co
• Restriction of movement, isolation
• Intimidation and threats
• Withholding of wages
• Abusive working and living conditions
2020-09-03
CottonChina
(Xinjiang)
Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co• Prison Labor2020-09-08
Computer PartsChina
(Xinjiang)
Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co• Abuse of vulnerability,
• Restriction of movement,
• Isolation and intimidation and threats
2020-09-08
Last updated September 25, 2020.

HIDE THIS PAGE