CBP blocks Mongolian stevia
U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday banned Mongolian stevia extracts and derivatives that it said are produced using convict, forced, or indentured labor by Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Group Baoanzhao Agriculture, Industry, and Trade Co. Ltd. (Baoanzhao).
U.S. law prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. CBP published its decision in what is called a “Finding” that was published in the Federal Register. It instructs port directors to seize the merchandise in question and to commence forfeiture proceedings. CBP said it was the first forced labor Finding since 1996.
“Today’s Finding tells U.S. importers who fail to eliminate forced labor from their supply chains that their shipments may be subject to seizure and forfeiture,” said Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “We hope this action encourages importers to take a close look at their supply chains to ensure that they meet the humane and ethical standards of the United States government.”
–The Hagstrom Report
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