Globally, millions are compelled to work under threat or coercion. U.S. law prohibits importing foreign goods produced by forced labor.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection can issue orders to detain shipments if it has reasonable evidence that the merchandise was made with forced labor.
How does CBP review appeals of those orders?
CBP has not published its process for how it revokes these orders to detain shipments, which could help the private sector comply with the law. We recommended it do so.
What GAO Found
The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses several tools to enforce Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (Section 307), which prohibits the importation of goods made with forced labor. For example, CBP may issue a withhold release order (WRO) when information reasonably but not conclusively indicates that merchandise produced with forced labor is being, or likely to be, imported into the United States. CBP may detain shipments of merchandise pursuant to WROs at U.S. ports of entry, unless an importer provides sufficient evidence that it was not made with forced labor. In addition, CBP may revoke or modify a WRO if evidence shows the merchandise was not made with forced labor; is no longer being produced with forced labor; or is no longer being, or likely to be, imported into the United States.
Read more here.