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Forced Labor and Using CBP’s ACE Portal

Updated: Mar 5

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) is a crucial piece of legislation aiming to stop the importation of goods made through forced labor in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). For a history of the UFLPA, click here to read our article. Recent updates to the ACE Protest tool by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) make enforcing the UFLPA more effective. 

As of January 27, 2024, the ACE Protest user interface (UI) has undergone significant improvements to make the review process for protests related to the UFLPA simpler. Now, individuals who are protesting a Notice of Exclusion for UFLPA can utilize the ACE Protest tool to contest a CBP exclusion decision.

How to Request a UFLPA Review

To request a review under the UFLPA, when filing a protest, individuals should navigate to the protest creation screen and choose “Other” for the “Issue”. Then, they should select one of the following options for the “Secondary Issue”:

  • UFLPA Exception Review

  • UFLPA Applicability Review

Filers should opt for “UFLPA Exception Review” if:

  • Importers seek an exception to challenge the UFLPA’s presumption that their merchandise is made with forced labor. Section 3 of the UFLPA outlines the prerequisites for such an exception. Importers must provide evidence demonstrating compliance with due diligence, supply chain tracing, supply chain measures, and evidentiary requirements, and must respond fully to CBP’s requests for information. The evidence must be clear and convincing, showing that the goods were not made with forced labor.

  • Importers must fully adhere to the guidance described in section 2(d)(6) of the UFLPA and any accompanying regulations (as outlined in DHS UFLPA Strategy and CBP’s Operational Guidance for Importers, Section II, III, IV, pages 9 – 15).

Filers should opt for “UFLPA Applicability Review” if:

  • Importers dispute the applicability of the rebuttable presumption to detained imported goods under the UFLPA. In an applicability review, the importer asserts that the supply chain for the goods does not involve any sourcing from the XUAR or any entity listed in the UFLPA Entity List.

  • Importers can provide supply chain tracing using guidelines provided in DHS UFLPA Strategy and CBP’s Operational Guidance for Importers, Section IV (D and E), page 15.

Upon submission, these protests are directed to the relevant Center of Excellence & Expertise (Center), Port of San Juan, or HQ Forced Labor Division for assessment.

Does your business require assistance navigating the UFLPA regulations or establishing a Social Compliance Program?  Have questions?  Don’t hesitate to call our office at (917) 546-6997, we would be happy to speak with you.

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