Industry News

CBP Counts Down to Lift Off on UFLPA Portal

Dec. 6, 2023
By: Hannah B. Kreinik

As many in the trade community are aware, the passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) in 2021 reflected a new focus on enforcing the laws against importations of goods made with forced labor. Since that law’s passage U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has been working to build infrastructure to enforce the law. Now comes word that CBP intends to launch a new portal for forced labor issues in mid-2024.

The portal, which was announced recently in a directorate from the Forced Labor Division for the Office of Trade, is predicted to be released in mid-2024. The directorate focuses on the data collected on UFLPA, Withhold Release Orders (“WRO’s”), the Forced Labor Working Group, and the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (“FLETF”) over the years since UFLPA’s enactment in 2021. In addition to enforcement statistics, the directorate also indicates advances to the Automated Commercial Environment’s (“ACE”) electronic detention notice system for those notices related to UFLPA detentions as well as other types of detentions. The electronic notice advancements, presumably meant to efficiently alert importers of detentions and submission due dates, are set for takeoff in early 2024.

The new centralized website portal announced is specific for UFLPA and forced labor enforcement. The portal will allow the public to submit allegations, WRO or forced labor Findings requests for modification, as well as UFLPA admissibility reviews, and exception and applicability requests. CBP hopes that the new UFLPA portal and other enhancements will promote transparency on UFLPA enforcement with importers moving forward.

Forced labor law has sky-rocketed in the past few years, and the attorneys at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn is here to help importers navigate the ever-changing legal landscape of forced labor compliance.