The U.S. and EU are stepping up efforts to remove forced labor from supply chains.

With customs authorities intensifying enforcement of forced labor compliance laws, the upcoming Advanced Topics in Customs Compliance (ATCC) conference will be devoting significant time and resources to discussions about how organizations can keep products made using forced labor out of their supply chains. 

Slated from February 7 – 9, 2024, in Houston, Texas, the ATCC event includes a workshop and multiple sessions dealing with this complex issue. It comes amid the backdrop of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) more vigorously enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act (UFLPA) and as the European Union introduces draft legislation that provides a stronger framework to ban goods produced with slave labor. 

Apart from forced labor, ATCC will also explore U.S. trade policy updates, decipher global sanctions with industry experts, and provide insights into Customs Value Fundamentals. There will be sessions focusing on Artificial Intelligence in Trade Compliance, EU-UK Customs Developments, and Advanced Duty Optimization Strategies that offer attendees a glimpse into future trends and strategies that could redefine trade compliance methodologies.

For those seeking specialized knowledge, the sessions on Export Controls on China, CFIUS Update on Outbound Investments Regime, and FDA Regulated Products Enforcement and Compliance provide niche insights that can significantly impact decision-making within specific industry sectors.

Key Takeaways

  • The U.S. and EU are stepping up efforts to remove forced labor from supply chains. 
  • U.S. CBP is strongly enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act. 
  • Organizations need to adopt the right technology to mitigate risk. 

ATCC Conference Background 

The ATCC conference is an annual event that attracts international trade compliance professionals, including importers, exporters, customs brokers, legal counsels, attorneys, consultants, and those in logistics and supply chain operations. 

The 2024 event, which is expected to attract more than 500 attendees, also offers a wealth of insights and networking opportunities that addresses the intricate landscape of international trade. 

Forced Labor Compliance Workshop 

The Day One workshop on Forced Labor Compliance helps provide guidance to companies which are aiming to strengthen their global supply chains against forced labor. Speakers include Cindy DeLeon (the main organizer behind ATCC, and a former CBP assistant field director) from Deleon Trade, Shawn Bhimani from Northeastern University, and Virginia Newman from Joyson Safety Systems. 

Dr Laura Murphy from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is also likely to touch on the topic in her keynote address in which she will shed light on policy perspectives crucial to the trade compliance landscape. 

In addition, five separate sessions on Days Two and Three are devoted to the subject, including one from Eric Choy, Executive Director Trade Remedy Law Enforcement from the Office of Trade at U.S. CBP who will provide latest developments in forced labor enforcement.  

Descartes Systems Group and Descartes Visual Compliance will also be taking part in the discussions as one of the event sponsors. 

Forced Labor Compliance Risks and Responsibilities

Organizations need to be aware of the complex web of risks and know how to comply effectively. They need the right technology to comprehensively screen business partners and suppliers and prevent chances of unwittingly breaching forced labor rules. See also our miniguide on how to fight forced labor in supply chains

How Descartes can Help 

Manually screening your partners and suppliers is time-intensive and error-prone, making it well worth the effort to invest in the right tools to handle this vital process automatically.  

Descartes offers a range of solutions that can help you screen against UFLPA entity lists and denied parties lists, as well as gain greater transparency of 3rd party risk

Are you ready to screen all your partners and the entire supply chain to keep your operation running smoothly? Schedule a demo today to discover how Descartes can help.