A CBP-Forced Labor document, has been developed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Trade, and recently made available to the trade community as part of this week’s CBP Trade Week.
It is up to all of us to eliminate the practice of forced labor. But the U.S. Government cannot address the presence of forced labor practices in the supply chain by itself. First, because U.S. legislation alone will not ensure overall global compliance. And second, governments need to work with the owners of the supply chain in order to be able to have a serious impact in eradicating it. This is why CBP developed a holistic approach, one where the U.S. partners with foreign governments, partner government agencies, industry and civil society to enhance and improve information collection, prevention, enforcement, and remediation. And the enforcement of national and international obligations should be aligned with pre-existing government-endorsed initiatives like the World Customs Organization’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program.
The CTPAT trade community, the companies that CBP trusts the most, must play a proactive role in the elimination of this practice by becoming force multipliers in CBP’s efforts to eradicate this practice. Importers in particular, in exercising reasonable care and conducting their due diligence, must ensure that their suppliers and business partners are not engaged in any type of forced labor practices. CTPAT and AEO importers and exporters across the globe must adhere to their national and international obligations, and develop documented and verifiable procedures that demonstrate their due diligence in working towards a supply chain free of forced labor practices.
As part of CBP’s Trade Week, the Office of Trade also made available a document from The Human Trafficking Legal Center. As with other important resources, both of these documents have been uploaded to the CTPAT Portal’s Public Documents/Public Library section. Please disseminate to your trade members and business partners.