[WASHINGTON, DC] Yesterday, U.S. Customs & Border Protection ("CBP") released CSMS #57200992 to provide guidance to the trade on the requirements that must be satisfied for the storage of merchandise detained pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1307. After confirming that such goods could be moved to a bonded warehouse until the detention status is resolved based on Port Director discretion, the CSMS went on to state that "Importers or their authorized filers may not move detained goods suspected of being made with forced labor into a Foreign Trade Zone for storage."
For the past 21⁄2 years, the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones ("NAFTZ") worked closely and collaboratively with CBP Headquarters to establish safeguards by which forced labor detained goods have been authorized for dedicated admission and segregated storage within a zone site until questions of
admissibility have been resolved. By all accounts, those safeguards have worked well in protecting both CBP's and the NAFTZ's mutual interest in seeing that the laws of the United States are properly applied and followed. The unilateral action taken by CBP in issuing CSMS #57200992 reflects a significant turn
away from that partnership and is not justified based on the facts and circumstances involved. This is a position that CBP repeatedly supported to the trade community and to the press. The NAFTZ requested and already held initial meetings with CBP Headquarters personnel to advocate for a reversal of this
position and will continue that advocacy until such time as the ability of FTZs to store forced labor detained goods has been restored.
NAFTZ welcomes comments or questions from the trade that may be used to further the Association's advocacy efforts. Please direct all communications on this CSMS to the NAFTZ's President, Jeff Tafel, at email@example.com.
The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones represents the constituents of the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones (U.S. FTZ) program. The U.S. FTZ program was created by Congress in 1934 to help U.S.-based companies be more globally competitive; maintain U.S.-based activity and jobs; attract investment to
American communities; and boost exports through special duty benefits and customs procedures. FTZs account for a significant portion of total U.S. trade with nearly 500,000 American workers being employed at FTZs in all fifty states and Puerto Rico. NAFTZ is the voice of Grantees, Users, Operators, Service Providers, and the jobs of those working in FTZs.