DHS Announces Crack Down on Illicit Textile Imports

April 10, 2024 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detailed a new enforcement strategy on illicit trade in the textiles industry. DHS says the 6-point strategy will be a “blueprint for future strengthened enforcement efforts.”

The strategy includes intensified targeting of small package shipments claiming the Section 321 de minimis exemption. It also includes a special joint operation teaming up U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to conduct “physical inspections; country-of-origin, isotopic, and composition testing; and in-depth reviews of documentation.”

The strategy involves expanding the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List, as well.
For more information, see the DHS announcement.

DHS Secretary Calls Low-Risk De Minimis Shipments a “False Premise”

April 10, 2024 – Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reportedly told U.S. textile producers yesterday that de minimis is based on a “false premise” that low value means low risk, while this is not the case.

This comes after the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS)’s announcement of its “crackdown” on de minimis shipments to “level the playing field for the American textile industry” last week. Secretary Mayorkas reportedly stated that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace. Read more from International Trade Today (paywall).

CBP Planning to Open Portal for Forced Labor Allegations

April 10, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is planning to open a new online portal to collect allegations of suspected forced labor and a Forced Labor Case Management System (CMS). CBP says the system would include “withhold release order revocation and modification requests and Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act applicability review submissions.”

Currently, information regarding potential forced labor and trade violations are electronically submitted via the eAllegations website. Exception review information and submissions from petitioners for revocation and modification requests are submitted by email.

CBP says the new Forced Labor Portal/Forced Labor CMS will “consolidate the various above-mentioned methods of submission into one centralized location, increasing efficiency and reducing the burden of collection to both CBP and the public.”

CBP is requesting comments on its notice. The deadline to respond is June 7, 2024. For more information, see the CBP notice.

CBP Requires eCERT for Certain Steel Imports from South Korea

April 10, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced last week that export certification requirements for steel imports from South Korea that are subject to an absolute quota must be collected through the Electronic Certification System (eCERT).

The use of the eCERT process for these Korean steel imports will be required for steel entered or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption on or after April 22, 2024. CBP says in the notice that it will automatically reject filings without correct eCERT information starting May 20, 2024. For more information, see the CBP notice