To request release of a particular shipment, importers may submit evidence to the port of entry where the shipment is being detained, in accordance with 19 CFR 12.43. It is incumbent upon the importer to prove admissibility of the merchandise within three months, per 19 CFR 12.43.
Evidence submitted to establish admissibility must demonstrate that the imported merchandise was not produced in whole or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region using forced labor.
Are there examples of information that CBP finds helpful in making this determination? For example, will CBP require chain of custody documentation?
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).
Guidance Concerning the Certificate of Origin:
- A standard Certificate of Origin is not acceptable. The required format for the certificate of origin is detailed in 19 CFR 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 CFR 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.
Supporting documentation should trace the supply chain from the origin of the cotton or tomatoes, to the production and processing of downstream products, to the merchandise imported into the United States.
Detention notices will request the following types of documentation. This is not an exhaustive list. Additional documentation may be required.
For cotton products: Provide sufficient documentation to show the entire supply chain from the origin of the cotton at the bale level through the final production of the finished product and identify the parties involved in the production process. Provide a list of suppliers, with associated production process, to include names, addresses, flow chart of the production process, and maps of the region where the production processes occurred. Number each step along the production processes and number the additional supporting documents associated to each step of the process.
For tomato products: Provide supply chain traceability documents pointing to the point of origin of the tomato seeds, tomatoes, or tomato products. Affidavit from the tomato processing facility that identifies both the parent company and the estate that sourced the tomato seeds and or tomatoes. Purchase Order, Invoice, and Proof of Payment for the tomato seeds, tomatoes, or tomato products, from the processing facility and the estate that sourced the raw materials. All production records for the tomato seeds, tomatoes, and/or tomato products that identify all steps, from seed to finished product, from the farm to shipping to the United States.
In accordance with 19 CFR 12.43, evidence that a particular shipment was not produced with forced labor should be submitted to the port of entry where the shipment is detained. When submitting an admissibility package containing this evidence, please also copy or notify the appropriate Center via email.