Supermax seeking clarity from US Customs and Border Protection on Withhold Release Order issuance

The US Customs and Border Protection issued a ‘Withhold Release Order’ that prohibits imports from Supermax based on reasonable information that indicates the use of forced labour in the company’s manufacturing operations. — Picture via Supermax
The US Customs and Border Protection issued a ‘Withhold Release Order’ that prohibits imports from Supermax based on reasonable information that indicates the use of forced labour in the company’s manufacturing operations. — Picture via Supermax

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Supermax Corporation Bhd’s representatives in the United States are currently in touch in the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to obtain more clarity and information on the Withhold Release Order (WRO) issued and the required measures going forward.

The company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today that it had embarked on its undertaking to meet the International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards on migrant workers since 2019.

“The process has well started and Supermax is surprised that due consideration has not been given to the fact that corrective steps have started and improvements made to labour welfare. We will speed up the process to come to meeting the ILO standards,” it said.

The rubber glove manufacturer had on Oct 11, 2021 commissioned an independent international consulting firm to conduct an audit into the status of foreign workers in the Supermax Group’s manufacturing facilities focusing on the 11 ILO Forced Labour Indicators.

The audit is currently ongoing, it said.

Currently, about 20 per cent of the Supermax Group’s sales go to the US market.

The group will take steps to divert goods bound for the US to other markets where possible and it has informed all its stakeholders that it is taking immediate and necessary steps to address the issue expeditiously. 

To recap, on Wednesday the US CBP issued a WRO against Supermax Corp and its subsidiaries allegedly based on information that reasonably indicates their use of forced labour in manufacturing operations.

The CBP identified 10 of the ILO’s indicators of forced labour during its investigation.

Following the investigation, disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corp’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd and Supermax Glove Manufacturing will be detained from entering all the United States ports of entry effective today. — Bernama

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