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US Customs issues seize order on Supermax products on forced labour finding

US Customs issues seize order on Supermax products on forced labour finding
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): Disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corporation Bhd units Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd, and Supermax Glove Manufacturing will be detained at at all U.S. ports of entry effective Thursday (Oct 21).

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against Supermax Corp and its subsidiaries based on information that reasonably alleged their use of forced labor in manufacturing operations.

CBP said it identified 10 of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor during its investigation.

CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said the Withhold Release Order will help protect vulnerable workers.

“CBP is a global leader in forced labor enforcement, and we will continue to exclude products made by modern slavery from entering into the United States.”

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor.

CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute.

Importers of detained shipments have the opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

Meanwhile, CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie R. Highsmith said with 10 of the 11 forced labor indicators identified during the course of investigation, CBP has ample evidence to conclude that Supermax Corp and its subsidiaries produce gloves in violation of U.S. trade law.

“Until Supermax and its subsidiaries can prove their manufacturing processes are free of forced labor, their goods are not welcome here,” she said.

Supermax joins a list of other Malaysian companies to be have been banned by CBP.

Others banned earlier included Top Glove Corp Bhd, FGV Holdings Bhd and Sime Darby Plantation.

CBP had banned gloves made by Top Glove subsidiaries - Top Glove Sdn Bhd and TG Medical Sdn Bhd -  in July 2020.

Top Glove subsequently said it had been cleared and allowed to resume exporting and selling gloves to the US, following modification of the finding by US CBP effective Sept 10, 2021.

Meanwhile, the CBP issued the withhold release order on Sept 30, 2020 against palm oil and palm oil products made by FGV and its subsidiaries and joint ventures.

Earlier this year, the Edge weekly had reported that the United States was investigating Malaysian glove makers Hartalega Holdings Bhd and a unit of Supermax Corp over allegations of forced labour.

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