By Donald Nyarota
United States of America Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a ban on the sale of Zimbabwe’s rough diamonds citing the use of forced labor in the extraction of the precious gems in the Marange diamond fields.
US embassy In Zimbabwe tweeted the confirmation of five Withhold Release Orders (WROs) issued on September 30, with one having the effect of effectively banning the trade of Marange diamonds in the US.
CBP confirmed in a press release that its acting commissioner Mark Morgan issued the WROs covering five different products, imported from five different countries.
The ban is based on information obtained and reviewed by CBP that indicates that the products are produced, in whole or in part, using forced labour.
“A major part of CBP’s mission is facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.
“CBP’s issuing of these five withhold release orders shows that if we suspect a product is made using forced labour, we’ll take that product off U.S. shelves.”
Under U.S. law, it is illegal to import goods into the U.S that are made wholly or in part by forced labour, which includes convict labour, indentured labour, and forced or indentured child labour.
When sufficient information is available, CBP may detain goods believed to have been produced with forced labour by issuing a WRO.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of USA borders at and between official ports of entry.