KANSAS CITY, Mo— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Port of Kansas City Missouri seized 4.68 million latex gloves in a shipment that originated in Malaysia and was destined to Kansas City. CBP personnel seized the shipment due to information indicating that the gloves were made by forced labor, a form of modern slavery.
On March 29, CBP directed personnel at all U.S. ports of entry to begin seizing disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by Top Glove Corporation Bhd. (Top Glove). The shipment in Kansas City was seized after an inspection by CBP officers revealed that the gloves were produced in Malaysia by a subsidiary of Top Glove. The estimated value of the shipment was $690,000.
“Considering this seizure took place in the heartland of America, it goes to show that imports produced by forced labor affect everyone nationwide,” said Steven Ellis, Port Director-Kansas City. “CBP will not tolerate forced labor in U.S. supply chains.”
According to the International Labour Organization, 25 million people suffer under conditions of forced labor around the world. Imports made by forced labor hurt vulnerable workers, threaten American jobs and businesses, and subject unsuspecting American consumers to making unethical purchases.
CBP issued a forced labor finding on March 29 based on evidence of multiple forced labor indicators in Top Glove’s production process, including debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions, and retention of identity documents.
Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP will seize shipments subject to findings unless the importer can prove to CBP’s satisfaction that, per 19 C.F.R §12.43, the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.
CBP receives allegations of forced labor from a variety of sources, including from the public. Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise produced with the use of forced labor is being – or is likely to be – imported into the United States can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.