We are very pleased to announce a new relationship with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Office of Trade), a law enforcement agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (CBP). The CBP works with partner government agencies and the trade community to facilitate legitimate trade that supports economic growth and shield the American public and businesses from unsafe products, intellectual property theft, and unfair trade practices. The CBP is committed to protecting U.S. national economic security by enforcing U.S. trade laws through its trade enforcement efforts.
Most recently on February 4, 2019, CBP issued a withhold release order against seafood products from the vessel Tunago No. 61 based on information obtained by CBP indicating tuna is harvested with the use of forced labour. The order was effective immediately as of the date of issuance and requires detention at all U.S. ports of entry of tuna and any such merchandise manufactured wholly or in part by the Tunago No. 61. Importers of detained shipments are provided an opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labour.
As work with our partners in civil society, banking/finance, the legal industry, information service and technology providers has developed, we have sought ways to support increased accountability of those in business who continue to profit from forced labour. CBP’s Office of Trade has a focus on identifying the import of products into the U.S. produced using forced labour and this is very much aligned to the pursuit by civil society to use its knowledge and data to increase transparency and apply its practice to increasing accountability and liability. We are very pleased to create a relationship with CBP to support their work in identifying products using forced labour.
It is hoped that this relationship will provide opportunities to explore different law enforcement approaches and strategies and to share data, knowledge and research to improve the fight against exploitation such as human trafficking and forced labour.