Fashion Brands Beware: the UFLPA Means Business for U.S. Imports

Fashion Brands Beware: the UFLPA Means Business for U.S. Imports

Since the introduction of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) in June 2022, nearly USD$1 billion in goods has been stopped at U.S. borders, including nearly USD$30 million dollars worth of fashion imports. According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 631 apparel, footwear and textile shipments were stopped at US borders under suspicion of being produced by forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region. Of these 631 shipments, 261 were denied entry into the U.S. while 136 were cleared after showing proof that complied with the act. 

At TrusTrace, we have been busy observing the rise in fashion legislation and helping our clients to navigate the uncertain regulatory territory. As it is still nascent, much is unknown about the practical application of laws in this space. However, this insight from the CBP shines a light on the application of the UFLPA and what this could mean for other laws facing the fashion industry. 

One thing is for sure: if you’re a fashion brand operating in the US, you urgently need a traceability solution to enable transparency. The CBP asks for evidence that each shipment coming into the country has not been produced using forced labor. The only way to gather and show this evidence is by working with a traceability platform to map and perform due diligence on your supply chains. This is especially relevant for apparel brands and companies bringing cotton products into the U.S. — these have been identified as two of four high-priority sectors by the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force.

While it is certainly a financial investment to buy a solution, the payoff is clear: without it, your products may be denied entry into the U.S., causing delays and costing your business more money in the long term. Goods that are suspected to not comply with the CBP’s requirements may be seized and brands can face fines equivalent to the value of the goods in question. The business case has never been so clear.

There has been much discussion over the implications of laws like the UFLPA — how closely they will be monitored and by whom. This robust application should indicate to brands that now is the time to invest in a traceability solution that not only ensures your brand’s compliance with current legislation but future-proofs your business for laws that we expect to see in the coming years.

To read our white paper on the UFLPA and to learn how TrusTrace’s solution can help your business to comply with it, click here.

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