Child Labor: U.S. Bans Import of Tainted Goods

Child Labor: U.S. Bans Import of Tainted Goods

The United States has taken another step in its fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.

President Barack Obama signed a bill on February 24th that has made it illegal to import goods produced by forced or child labor. Some of the impacted goods include seafood caught and processed by slaves in Southeast Asia and gold mined by children in Africa.


Concerned about human trafficking and slavery in your supply chain? Download the free eBook, Human Trafficking, Slavery & Your Supply Chain, to learn more.


Customs and Border Protection has always had the authority to seize shipments where forced or child labor is suspected, and to block further imports, under the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930. However, according to the Associated Press, this has only actually happened 35 times in 85 years.

There is a loophole, called the consumptive demand exception, in the Act that allows the imports of these goods if there are no other means through which to meet consumer demand. Rather than create new rules, the bill strikes this loophole from the Act.

Who Does This Affect?

Industries that may be impacted include, but are not limited to:

  • Apparel & Clothing
  • Construction
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Seafood
  • Textiles
  • Tobacco

To view a complete list of goods possibly tainted by forced and child labor, click here to visit the U.S. Department of Labor.

Companies whose supply chains utilized the consumptive demand exception in the past will now be required to demonstrate their goods are ethically sourced. Doing so will require the implementation of supply chain due diligence processes.

This amendment will take effect 15 days after its enactment.

For more information on this bill and what it means for your company, contact our regulatory experts at

Click here to download our eBook, Human Trafficking, Slavery & Your Supply Chain.