President Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) into law on December 23, 2021. (Click here and here for previous articles on this topic.) On January 24, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a “Notice Seeking Public Comments,” soliciting responses to 18 different questions covering implementation, enforcement, and compliance with the UFLPA. Several questions seek information about the issues likely to be most important to U.S. companies that source materials from the People’s Republic of China, including:
The full notice can be found here. Comments are due by March 10, 2022. The UFLPA contains other important deadlines for the government as well. By March 23, 2022, the State Department is required to submit a diplomatic strategy to Congress for creating awareness and supporting enforcement of the UFLPA. Companies that wish to comment on the diplomatic strategy may do so in response to Questions 16 and 17.
By June 21, 2022, CBP must begin applying the rebuttable presumption standard, set forth in the UFLPA, to imports entering the United States. The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force must also provide its enforcement strategy report, including the guidance it has for U.S. importers, to Congress on this date as well.
Companies still have time to influence the diplomatic and enforcement strategies and the guidelines for U.S. importers, but they must do so on or before March 10, 2022. If you have any questions about the type of information the government is seeking or how to file comments, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Walsh, Jeff Atkin, Vanessa Miller, David Simon, or your Foley attorney.