This statement is written by

Niklas Kirwel, President & CEO of Setlog Corp. since 01.07.2021. For more than 15 years, he has been an expert in project and product management as well as in consulting and sales of technology projects in the consumer goods and apparel industry.

As the new year kicks off, I wanted to make sure that everyone who participates in CBP’s CTPAT programs is on top of two recent and important changes. 

Change No. 1 – Security Program

In October 2021, the Minimum-Security Criteria for importers received a provision related to forced labor prevention providing that CTPAT members should have a social compliance program in place. The program should outline how the company makes sure that all goods imported into the US are free of any form of forced labor, such as child labor, prison labor, etc.

This ‘should-do’ requirement is now a ‘must-do’ requirement effective this January 2023. For companies that do have a social compliance framework in place, this should not cause any trouble – for all others, heads-up and get to work.

Change No. 2 – Trade Compliance Program

The second change affects all members of the Trade Compliance Program. Effective August 2022, they are obliged to comply with six requirements related to forced labor. Here are the six obligations:

  1. Risk Based Mapping

Businesses are required to conduct a risk-based mapping of their supply chains (incl. all supply chain partners) specifically for regions, suppliers, etc. that the company feels are at the highest risk for potential forced labor violations.

  • Code of Conduct

This one should be straight forward. Companies must have a Code of Conduct in place that unambiguously states their commitment against the use of any forced labor within their supply chain. Also, there must be policies and procedures in place that operationalize or ‘enforce’ the Code of Conduct.

  • Evidence of Implementation

Companies need to provide proof of implementation of a social compliance program to CBP. This can include transparent and full audits of high-risk supply chain parts or internal education and trainings. The key here is to be able to comply with CBP’s requirements if and when requested or asked.

  • Due Diligence and Training

All members must educate and train not only internal teams, but especially also their suppliers. The requirements of their social compliance program and how risks and forced labor are to be prevented need to be communicated clearly.

  • Remediation Plan

Every program addressing potential violations needs – wait for it – a remediation plan. Upon request, you need to be able to show CBP how you plan to address forced labor violations if found in your supply chain.

  • Shared Best Practices and Path Forward

I am a big fan of this one – CBP emphasizes best-practice sharing with other members in the Trade Compliance program. I believe we can only make a difference if we collaborate.

The above 👆🏻 was really just a short summary of the changes to the CTPAT programs. I would highly recommend you read Ted Murphy’s more detailed article here and also download the whitepaper my colleague Simone Ross put together about CTPAT’s new forced labor requirements here.