Section 307 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930 prohibits the importation of goods made by forced labor. In the original law, there was a loophole that allowed for the importation of such goods as long as the United States did not produce the good in sufficient quantity to meet demand. As a result, it was very difficult to ban the importation of goods under the law. In 2016, the loophole, commonly referred to as the consumptive demand loophole, was eliminated, and in September 2019 Customs and Border Patrol announced that they were issuing five withhold release orders.
With this increased activity came an increased interest in learning about how to effectively use this tool to prevent goods made with forced labor from entering the United States. Below is information on filing a complaint, a compendium of complaints filed by civil society organizations, and information on withhold release orders and finding. You may also wish to review Human Trafficking Legal Center’s guide, Importing Freedom: Using the U.S. Tariff Act to Combat Forced Labor in Supply Chains, which provides the nuts and bolts for filing a petition.