WASHINGTON — Effective August 11 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain imported merchandise containing garments produced by the Hero Vast Group (including Shanghai Hero Vast International Trading Co., Ltd.; Henan Hero Vast Garment Co., Ltd.; Yuexi Hero Vast Garment Co., Ltd.; Ying Han International Co., Ltd.; and Hero Vast Canada Inc.). CBP’s Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Trade directed the issuance of a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against the Hero Vast Group and its garments based on information that reasonably indicated the use of prison labor in the production of those garments.
Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. This WRO will require the detention at all U.S. ports of entry of garments and any such merchandise manufactured by the Hero Vast Group. Importers of detained shipments are provided an opportunity to export their shipments or submit proof to CBP that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.
“As part of its trade enforcement responsibilities, CBP is dedicated to vigilantly monitoring U.S.-bound supply chains for links to forced labor, including prison labor, and will act to deter and disrupt the importation of merchandise made with forced labor practices,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “The use of forced labor is not just a serious human rights issue, but it also brings about unfair competition in our global supply chains. CBP’s goal is to ensure that goods made by forced labor never reach U.S. consumers.”
Since September 2019, CBP has issued eleven WROs, including four WROs against products from China. All WROs are publically available and listed by country on CBP’s Forced Labor Withhold Release Orders and Findings webpage. The Forced Labor Division, established in 2017 within CBP’s Office of Trade, leads enforcement of the prohibition against importing goods made with forced labor.
CBP is committed to identifying and preventing products made with forced labor from entering the United States to maintain a level playing field for U.S. domestic industry. CBP receives allegations of forced labor from a variety of sources, including the general public. Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise produced with the use of forced labor is being, or 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.
Follow CBP Office of Trade on Twitter at @CBPTradeGov.