US: Customs and Border Protection seizes USD 2.5 m in palm oil shipments over forced labour finding
Baltimore CBP Seizes $2.5 Million in Palm Oil Shipments Under Forced Labor Finding
[...] U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized four shipments of palm oil in Baltimore since February 11 due to information indicating that the palm oil was manufactured by forced labor, a form of modern slavery. The palm oil shipments are valued at nearly $2.5 million. [...]
All four shipments of palmitic acid were produced in Malaysia and destined to a processing facility in Delaware. The combined weight of the four shipments of palmitic acid came to 544,176 pounds and had an appraised value of about $2,466,500. [...]
Effective December 30, 2020, CBP issued a Withhold Release Order that directed personnel at all U.S. ports of entry to detain palm oil and products containing palm oil produced by Sime Darby Plantation Berhad and its subsidiaries, joint ventures, and affiliated entities in Malaysia. The issuance of this Withhold Release Order is based on information that reasonably indicates the presence of all 11 of the International Labour Organization’s forced labor indicators in Sime Darby Plantation’s production process.
CBP officers initially detained the first three shipments on November 30, 2021 and detained the latest shipment on December 3, 2021. CBP provides importers of detained shipments an opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor. The importer did not respond to CBP within the three-month period for taking one of these actions, and CBP seized all four shipments. [...]