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Human rights abuses front-and-center concern for US companies.

Under the Trade Enforcement and Trade Facilitation Act, all products made by forced labor, including child labor, are prohibited entry into the United States. CBP set up a page on their site which links to all the enforcement provisions of TFTEA, including three elements on forced labor including an informative FAQ. CBP provides as a reference that the Department of Labor maintains lists as well.

The President on December 20, 2017, signed an Executive Order implementing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act which was signed into law on December 23, 2016. Not to be confused with another law named after Sergei Magnitsky but targeting exclusively human rights abusers in Russia, the EO signed last month encompasses all countries.

The Global Magnitsky Act authorizes the President to impose sanctions on any party or individual who:

1. Is responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture or other gross violations.
2. Acted as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign person.
3. Is a government official complicit in ordering, controlling or otherwise directing acts of significant corruption.
4. Has materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for goods or services in support of these activities.

(The above excerpted from Sec 1263 of the Act)

For importers and exporters, the burden of compliance rests with them to ensure that companies with whom they are doing business are not on lists from agencies such as OFAC who designated 52 parties as Specially Designated Nationals when the order was signed. These individuals and companies were from a variety of countries including The Gambia, South Sudan, Russian, Nicaragua and China among others.

To assist US companies in complying, OFAC has also issued an FAQ. At RIM, our focus for our clients is full compliance with US and international laws and we stand ready to assist as needed.