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SOME CHINESE MACHINE TOOLS TO BE BLOCKED

 SOME CHINESE MACHINE TOOLS TO BE BLOCKED
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Customs Service has


taken further action to block the importation of suspected forced labor goods from China. Commissioner Carol Hallett today issued detention orders on machine tools allegedly produced by Chinese prisoners. Importation into the United States of such merchandise is prohibited by federal law.
 In a memorandum, Hallett directed Customs' regional commissioners and district directors to withhold release of planing machines described as the "Oxen Planer" allegedly manufactured by forced labor at the Xiang-Yang machinery plant in Hubei Province, China.
 Last month, Commissioner Hallett issued similar orders regarding suspected hand tools and steel pipe manufactured in Shanghai and socks made in Beijing.
 The text of the Commissioner's memorandum follows.
 It has been brought to the attention of Customs Service Headquarters that certain planing machines exported from China and imported into the United States are being produced by forced labor which is in violation of 19 U.S.C. 1307 and 19 C.F.R. 12.42. Information received concerning this alleged violative merchandise was obtained from sources outside Customs.
 According to 19 U.S.C. 1307, all goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions shall not be entitled to entry at any ports of the United States, and the importation is therefore prohibited. At this time, the information available reasonably indicates that the specified planing machines are being imported in violation of Section 307. In accordance with 19 C.F.R. 12.42, all District Directors are advised to withhold release of these items pending instructions from the Commissioner of Customs as to whether the merchandise may be released otherwise than for exportation.
 The planing machines are manufactured by the XIANG-YANG MACHINERY PLANT, Hubei Province, China. It is described as the "Oxen Planer," Model No. B 60 50 B, in literature which we have received. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule Subheading appears to be either 8461.10.00, if for metalworking, or 8465.92.00, if for working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics, or similar hard materials. It is also possible that these machines may be classified as shaping or slotting machines under Subheading 8461.20.00.
 If suspected violative shipments are detected, they must be withheld from release pending further notice from Customs Service Headquarters.
 -0- 11/6/91
 /CONTACT: Steve Duchesne of U.S. Customs Service, 202-535-6540/ CO: U.S. Customs Service ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: SB-MH -- DC029 -- 1808 11/06/91 14:43 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 6, 1991
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