Diamonds from Zimbabwe and gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are among items from five countries seized at U.S. borders over suspicions of forced labor.
In a statement released yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) singled out gold mined in artisanal small mines (ASM) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and rough diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields.
The CBP said the action was based on information showing the products are produced, either wholly or partly, from forced labor.
As a result, it has issued Withhold Release Orders (WROs) that allows them to detain these goods. According to CBP, importers can either re-export the detained shipments or submit information showing that the goods do not violate U.S. laws, which mandate that it is illegal to import goods that are made wholly or in part by forced labor.
"CBP works extensively with our stakeholders, the media, and private sector businesses to gather information on forced labor in global supply chains and educate importers on U.S. compliance standards." said Todd Owen, CBP Office of Field Operations executive assistant commissioner, CBP Office of Field Operations. "And we encourage the trade community to know their supply chains to ensure goods imported into our country are not produced with forced labor."