On February 20, 2024, Hoshine Silicon (Jia Xing) Industry Co., Ltd. (“Jiaxing Hoshine”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoshine Silicon Industry Co., Ltd., filed a complaint at the United States Court of International Trade (USCIT) challenging the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) June 2021 decision to issue a withhold release order (WRO) against Hoshine Silicon Industry Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Hoshine Silicon”). The WRO instructs CBP personnel to detain all shipments containing silica-based products made by Hoshine Silicon entities. The complaint also challenges CBP’s subsequent refusal to grant Jiaxing Hoshine’s petition to modify the WRO. The WRO applies to materials and final goods derived from or produced using those silica-based products, regardless of where the materials and final goods are produced.

According to the complaint, following the issuance of the June 2021 WRO, Jiaxing Hoshine and its counsel repeatedly engaged with CBP officers and on September 12, 2023, submitted a modification petition to CBP asking that, inter alia, a narrowly defined supply chain for products made by Jiaxing Hoshine be excluded from the WRO as “the identified supply chain is located entirely outside of Xinjiang and involves no use of forced labor.” On November 3, 2023, CBP denied the petition after finding that modifying the WRO to exclude a specific supply chain would undermine the CBP’s enforcement efforts and that companies subject to a WRO must “demonstrate full remediation of all forced labor indicators present at all of company locations.”

In its complaint, Jiaxing Hoshine asserts that CBP acted unlawfully in at least two ways: (1) CBP failed to provide any evidentiary basis for its decision to include Jiaxing Hoshine within the scope of the WRO, and (2) CBP has no legal basis for its decision to reject the modification petition and its refusal to exclude Jiaxing Hoshine from the WRO. Jiaxing Hoshine is asking the USCIT to vacate the CBP’s determinations to add Jiaxing Hoshine to the WRO and to deny the modification petition.