CBP Modifies Withhold Release Order on YTY Industry Holdings Sdn Bhd (YTY Group) in Malaysia Following Forced Labour Allegations
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has modified the Withhold Release Order (WRO) based on forced labour allegations issued on January 28th 2022, against imports of synthetic disposable gloves manufactured by YTY Industry Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (YTY Group). Effective immediately, the U.S. will allow YTY Group shipments to enter the U.S. provided they are otherwise in compliance with U.S. laws. Shipments of YTY Group’s synthetic gloves received on or after February 8, 2023, will no longer be detained at U.S. ports of entry. This is the second modification the agency has issued in 2023.
Original article – US Customs and Border Protection – 2nd August 2023
“CBP is setting the global standard for responsible business practices through our forced labor enforcement,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller. “This latest modification is further proof that CBP’s efforts are leading companies to find ways to change their practices to ensure forced labor is not in their supply chain.”
“This modification is yet another example of how CBP’s leadership in combatting forced labor is a catalyst for global action, improving living and working conditions for tens of thousands of workers around the world, and elevating the moral and ethical standard for goods entering the United States. We are witnessing a global shift in behavior from importers and businesses as they identify and eliminate forced labor from their supply chains so that they can do business in the U.S. We are proud to be a part of this positive change that directly impacts so many lives, and we will continue to prioritize this work until forced labor ceases to exist in U.S. supply chains,” said AnnMarie R. Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade.
In January 2022, CBP issued a WRO against synthetic disposable gloves produced by YTY Group and its subsidiaries in Malaysia. CBP issued the WRO based on evidence reasonably indicating the presence of several International Labour Organization forced labor indicators within YTY Group’s production and employee housing facilities, including abuse of vulnerability, intimidation and threats, debt bondage, retention of identity documents, abusive living and working conditions, deception, and excessive overtime.
Since the implementation of the WRO, YTY Group has taken numerous actions to remediate forced labor indicators within its manufacturing process and employee housing facilities. YTY Group’s remediation efforts included drafting and implementing a corrective action plan to address indicators of forced labor, reimbursing recruitment fees paid by its migrant workers, commissioning an independent social compliance audit, and submitting comprehensive documentation which sufficiently demonstrates YTY Group’s sustained commitment to remediate conditions of forced labor in its production and housing facilities. Accordingly, CBP determined that YTY Group’s disposable gloves are no longer being produced using forced labor and, specifically, that the conditions of forced labor identified in the January 2022 WRO no longer exist.
19 U.S.C. § 1307 prohibits the importation of “[a]ll goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in Follow CBP Office of Trade on Twitter @CBPTradeGov.any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor … includ[ing] forced or indentured child labor.” When CBP has information reasonably indicating that imported goods are made by forced labor, the agency will order personnel at U.S. ports of entry to detain shipments of those goods. Such shipments will be excluded and subject to seizure and forfeiture if the importer fails to demonstrate proof of admissibility, in accordance with 19 CFR §12.43, or export the shipment.
CBP has established a process through which interested parties may request the modification or revocation of a WRO or Finding. The required evidence and timeline for modification or revocation may vary depending upon the specific circumstances of each individual case. CBP does not modify WROs or Findings until the agency has evidence demonstrating that the subject merchandise is no longer produced, manufactured, or mined using forced labor.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.