On June 12, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), on behalf of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), published a Notice adding two entities and eight subsidiaries to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List, for allegedly working with the government of the People’s Republic of China’s Xinjiang Province to recruit, transport, transfer, harbor or receive forced labor or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of Xinjiang. The updated UFLPA Entity List is published as an appendix to the Notice. Companies should make sure to regularly review updates to the UFLPA Entity List against their supply chains.
UFLPA requires the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to apply a rebuttable presumption that goods mined, produced, or manufactured by entities on the UFLPA Entity List are made with forced labor, and therefore, prohibited from importation into the United States under 19 U.S.C. 1307. UFLPA requires the FLETF to identify and publish the following four lists:
(1) a list of entities in Xinjiang that mine, produce, or manufacture wholly or in part any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise with forced labor;
(2) a list of entities working with the government of Xinjiang to recruit, transport, transfer, harbor or receive forced labor or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of Xinjiang;
(3) a list of entities that exported products made by entities in lists 1 and 2 from the PRC into the United States; and
(4) a list of facilities and entities, including the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, that source material from Xinjiang or from persons working with the government of Xinjiang or the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps for purposes of the “poverty alleviation” program or the “pairing-assistance” program or any other government-labor scheme that uses forced labor.
Indeed, the June 2023 notice issued by the DHS reflects the first updates announced by the FLETF since the UFLFPA Entity List was first released in June 2022.
The two entities and eight subsidiaries that were added to the UFLPA Entity List include:
- Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. Ltd.; and
- Ninestar Corporation and its eight Zhuhai-based subsidiaries, which include Zhuhai Ninestar Information Technology Co. Ltd., Zhuhai Pantum Electronics Co. Ltd., Zhuhai Apex Microelectronics Co., Ltd., Geehy Semiconductor Co., Ltd., Zhuhai Pu-Tech Industrial Co., Ltd., Zhuhai G&G Digital Technology Co., Ltd., Zhuhai Seine Printing Technology Co., Ltd., and Zhuhai Ninestar Management Co., Ltd.
According to DHS’ notice, the UFLPA Entity List should not be interpreted as an exhaustive list of entities engaged in the practices described under the UFLPA. The FLETF will continue to consider future additions to the UFLPA Entity List based on the criteria described in the law.
The notice also details procedures for requesting removal from the UFLPA Entity List. Any listed entity may submit a request for removal, together with supporting information, to the FLETF Chair at FLETF.UFLPA.EntityList@hq.dhs.gov. As part of that request, the entity should provide information that demonstrates that the entity no longer meets or does not meet the criteria described in the applicable UFLPA clause.
The FLETF Chair will then refer all removal requests and supporting information to FLETF member agencies, and they (or their designated representative) may contact the entity with questions or to request additional information. Following review by the FLETF member agencies, the decision to remove an entity from the UFLPA Entity List will be made by majority vote of the FLETF member agencies. Notably, this requirement differs from the vote to remove entities from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s Entity List, which requires a unanimous vote by participating agencies.
CBP could issue further guidance as we approach June 21, 2023, which will mark one year since UFLPA’s rebuttable presumption entered into force. Companies should be ready to update their internal compliance programs accordingly.