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Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd Withhold Release Order Frequently Asked Questions

What is the scope of the Hoshine WRO? Does it apply only to silica-based products produced in Xinjiang, or does it also cover products made in other parts of China, or third countries using inputs made by Hoshine and its subsidiaries?

The Withhold Release Order applies to silica-based products made by Hoshine and its subsidiaries as well as to materials and final goods derived from or produced using those silica-based products, regardless of where the materials and final goods are produced. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Component Materials – silicon, including metallurgic grade silicon, silicon oxide and certain silicones in primary forms;

  2. Intermediate Goods - semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, additives for aluminum alloys and concrete; and

  3. Finished Goods: photovoltaic cells, solar generators, solar panels, electronics, adhesives, and lubricants.

Are finished products that contain a small percentage of silica-based products sourced from Hoshine or its subsidiaries subject to the WRO?

CBP is charged with enforcing Section 1307 of Title 19 United States Code, on behalf of the United States Government, which prohibits the importation of any goods mined, manufactured, or produced in whole or in part in a foreign country with convict, forced, or indentured labor.  Pursuant to regulations, goods that CBP reasonably, but not necessarily conclusively, believes to be made in violation of the statute may be subject to a Withhold Release Order. 

The statute prohibits the importation of goods produced in whole, or in part, with the use of forced labor.  However, CBP recognizes there may be some very fact-specific instances, where the question of the contribution of prohibited labor to the whole of a product (from a quantitative and a qualitative perspective) is something that a court might consider with respect to the statutory intent of Section 1307 of Title 19, United States Code.

How will this WRO affect imports into the United States for goods containing silica?

CBP has reason to believe that the silica-based goods produced by Hoshine are entering the commerce of the United States in violation of 19 U.S.C. § 1307.  This WRO will not affect U.S. imports of silica-based products that do not contain silica-based products sourced from Hoshine or its subsidiaries.  Importers are encouraged to police their supply chains to ensure that they are not importing goods made, in whole or in part, with convict, forced or indentured labor.

What indicators of forced labor did CBP identify against Hoshine?

CBP identified two of the International Labour Organization’s 11 indicators of forced labor during its investigation: intimidation and threats and restriction of movement.

What kind of evidence will CBP expect from importers seeking release of detained shipments?

Importers should be able to trace their supply chains on imports, including the production of the component silica, to determine whether the silica used in the manufacture of their imported goods is being produced in violation of Section 1307. Importers should provide information on the sourcing of the silica-based component materials in their imported goods. The information submitted to CBP should show that the silica used in the production of the imported product was not sourced directly or indirectly from Hoshine or any of its subsidiaries.

Importers contending that merchandise detained under 19 CFR § 12.42(a) was not produced with forced labor must submit the Certificate of Origin signed by the foreign seller as required by 19 C.F.R. § 12.43(a), which may be submitted in electronic form, and a detailed statement from the importer, as outlined in 19 C.F.R. §12.43(b).

Detention notices will request the following types of documentation. This is not an exhaustive list.  Additional documentation may be required.

  • A standard Certificate of Origin is not acceptable.  The required format for the certificate of origin is detailed in 19 C.F.R. § 12.43(a).  This paragraph includes the exact wording of the certificate that should be signed by the seller/manufacturer.

  • The statement required by 19 C.F.R. § 12.43(b) should be submitted by the importer, not the seller.  The importer’s statement should be sufficiently detailed and include proof that the goods were not produced, wholly or in part, with forced labor.

  • Additional Information: Affidavit from the provider of the silica and its initially processed forms (i.e., silicon metal, metallurgical grade silicon, chemical-grade silicon, silicon, etc.) and identification of the source of the silica and its initially processed forms that identifies where the silica and its initially processed forms were sourced.  Purchase Orders, Invoices, and Proof of Payment for the silica and its initially processed forms and/or silica containing components.  List of production steps and production records from the imported merchandise back through the supply chain to the unprocessed silica and its initially processed forms. Transportation documents from raw silica source (quarry or other) through silica’s initially processed forms to the imported merchandise.  Daily process reports that relate to the unprocessed silica and its initially processed forms sold to the downstream producer(s) and the list of entities that supplied inputs for the silica containing products being imported.

Last modified: 
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 10:20