The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also provides an evolving list of products and entities related to forced labor in the XUAR.
It’s critical that companies have cutting-edge compliance tools that can not only manage the complex aspects of a company’s supply chain, but also track the data, analytics and evidence of actions taken that support supply chain management.
That’s because the USCBP is tasked with detaining and sometimes seizing shipments, including products and materials on the UFLPA’s list of goods. For USCBP to grant exceptions or release seized imports, companies must be prepared to share proof from due diligence systems, supply chain management, tracing systems or other evidence that imported goods were not produced in any way in the XUAR.
Global Legislation Improves Supply Chain and Human Rights Reporting
Supply chains are under severe stress from a variety of global issues, including pandemic, geopolitical, cyber and climate-related disruptions. The UFLPA is the latest example of laws aimed at improving transparency around how companies address human rights abuses and unlawful labor practices within supply chain networks. Here are others:
- The United Kingdom requires larger companies to include information and data on supply chain transparency as a result of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act. Companies must publicly share the following: a human trafficking statement, due diligence processes highlighting how they manage and mitigate human rights risks, risk assessments across the organization and in supply chains, KPIs to provide data on improvements and preventions and information on modern slavery and human trafficking training for staff and management.
- In the European Union, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) is in the process of drafting the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). One of the EFRAG’s drafts includes a section on workforce issues in the supply chain. The current proposal draft would require most companies located or listed in the E.U. to provide information on company strategy for addressing and managing material impacts on workers across the supply chain including working conditions, wages, health and safety, working hours, discrimination, work-life balance, worker freedom of association, collective bargaining rights, child labor, modern slavery, and more.
- Australia enacted a Modern Slavery Act in 2018. Companies with revenues of more than $100 million must file a comprehensive Modern Slavery Statement to the Australian Minister for Home Affairs.
In some countries, supply chain operations are supported by unlawful, unethical and discriminatory human rights violations, and there is very little global oversight to stem this behavior.
Companies should determine if the countries in which they operate have short or long-term legislative and enforcement plans for increased human rights and modern slavery reporting expectations.
Preparing for Future Global Supply Chain and Human Rights Regulations
Supply chain management can be daunting; many companies struggle to grasp the complex web of available suppliers and vendors and their policies and treatment of labor workers. Proper supply chain management includes not only managing an organization’s own supply chain, but also being aware of the supply chains of third-party suppliers and vendors.