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Forced Labor

Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1307) prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, produced or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced or indentured labor – including forced child labor. Such merchandise is subject to exclusion and/or seizure, and may lead to criminal investigation of the importer(s).

When information reasonably but not conclusively indicates that merchandise within the purview of this provision is being imported, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may issue withhold release orders pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 12.42(e). If the Commissioner is provided with information sufficient to make a determination that the goods in question are subject to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. § 1307, the Commissioner will publish a formal finding to that effect in the Customs Bulletin and in the Federal Register pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 12.42(f).

How You Can Help

CBP regulations state that any person who has reason to believe that merchandise produced by forced labor is being, or is likely to be, imported into the United States may communicate his belief to any Port Director or the Commissioner of CBP (19 C.F.R. § 12.42).

If you wish to report allegations of forced labor violations, please submit them to CBP at the following address:

Key Points

  • The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 was signed by the President on February 24, 2016. The law repealed the “consumptive demand” clause in 19 U.S.C. § 1307. The clause had allowed importation of certain forced labor-produced goods if the goods were not produced “in such quantities in the United States as to meet the consumptive demands of the United States.” Repeal of the consumptive demand exception should enhance CBP’s ability to prevent products made with forced labor from being imported into the United States.
  • CBP acts on information concerning specific manufacturers/exporters and specific merchandise. The agency does not generally target entire product lines or industries in problematic countries or regions.
  • CBP partners with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other participating U.S. government agencies to investigate forced labor allegations.
  • CBP encourages stakeholders in the trade community to closely examine their supply chains to ensure goods imported into the United States are not mined, produced or manufactured, wholly or in part, with prohibited forms of labor, i.e., slave, convict, indentured, forced or indentured child labor.


Enforcement Actions

Withhold Release Orders and Findings

Forced Labor Statistics As of  June 25, 2021

Forced Labor Statistics
Active Withhold Release Orders and Findings

Total Active Withhold Release Orders


Total Active Findings


FY2021 Forced Labor Statistics

FY 2021 Forced Labor Statistics

Withhold Release Orders Issued


Findings Issued


Penalties Issued


Shipments Detained*


Withhold Release Orders & Findings Modified or Revoked


*The detention information provided above covers forced labor related detentions that occurred between October 1, 2020 and June 25, 2021.



In the News


CBP, the Department of Labor, Department of State, and non-profit Verite hosted a Forced Labor Webinar on August 22, 2018.  The webinar recording and supporting  documents are  available at the following address:


CBP and ICE, with the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), issued the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory on July 1, 2020. The advisory informs the trade of the risks and considerations for businesses with supply chain exposure to entities engaged in forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang.


CBP and ICE, with the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), issued the North Korea Sanctions and Enforcement Actions Advisory: Risks for Businesses with Supply Chain Links to North Korea on July 23, 2018.  The advisory informs the trade of North Korea's evasion tactics, compliance risks and requirements, as well as due diligence best practices.

Last modified: 
September 10, 2021