Expansion of UFLPA Entity List and Publication of 2023 UFLPA Strategy Updates

On August 1, 2023, the interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (“FLETF”), led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), shared publicly the 2023 updates to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) Strategy to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, Produced, or Manufactured with Forced Labor in the People’s Republic of China (“2023 UFLPA Strategy Updates”)[1]. Additionally, effective August 2, 2023, FLETF has expanded the UFLPA Entity List with two new entries:

  • Camel Group Co., Ltd. (“Camel Group”), and
  • Chenguang Biotech Group Co., Ltd. (“Chenguang Biotech”) and its subsidiary Chenguang Biotechnology Group Yanqi Co. Ltd. (“Chenguang Biotech Yanqi”).

Goods produced by these companies, wholly or in part, will be restricted from entering the United States. The addition of these companies brings the total number of entries on the UFLPA Entity List to 24.

Camel Group, headquartered in Xiangyang City, Hubei Province, China, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of car batteries, particularly lead-acid batteries. Camel Group was ostensibly added to the Entity List on the grounds that it is allegedly working with the government of Xinjiang to recruit, transport, transfer, harbor or receive forced labor or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of Xinjiang.” (Sec. 2(d)(2)(B)(ii), Pub. L. 117-78).

Chenguang Biotech is headquartered in Handan, Hebei Province, China, and produces plant-based extracts, food additives, natural dyes, pigments, and supplements from agricultural products. Chenguang Biotech Yanqi is based in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and is engaged in the production of food additives and nutritional supplements. These companies were ostensibly added to the UFLPA Entity List on the grounds that they allegedly source material from Xinjiang or from persons working with the government of Xinjiang or the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps for purposes of the ‘‘poverty alleviation’’ program or the ‘‘pairing-assistance’’ program or any other government-labor scheme that uses forced labor.” (Sec. 2(d)(2)(B)(v), Pub. L. 117-78).

The 2023 UFLPA Strategy Updates are relatively limited. There have been no official changes to the list of high priority sectors, although the report notes that CBP continues to enforce the UFLPA against all sectors, prioritizing across all tariff codes in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule that could be at risk of having a supply chain that touches Xinjiang.” These prioritized tariff codes” are not disclosed, and their relationship to the so-called high-priority sectors” is not discussed.

While not officially updating the list of high priority sectors, the 2023 UFLPA Strategy Update does call out several additional categories of products as potential risk areas” including red dates and other agricultural products, vinyl products and downstream products, aluminum and downstream products, steel and downstream products, lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, copper and downstream products, electronics, and tires and other automobile components.”

The 2023 UFLPA Strategy Updates also discuss the FLETF’s ongoing engagement with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs are given a direct line of access to FLETF, which means that NGO allegations of forced labor in global supply chains must be treated with extremely careful consideration.

[1] The 2023 UFLPA Strategy Updates was published on July 26, 2023, but shared publicly on August 1, 2023.