WASHINGTON — The U.S. Customs Service issued an order Thursday to detain all textile and apparel shipments from Saudi Arabia due to complaints of transshipments and lack of cooperation by Saudi officials.
“They aren’t allowing us in [to do routine inspections at Saudi ports],” said Janet Labuda, director of the textile enforcement and operations division at Customs. “So we can’t find anything, and we are doing our enforcement here.”
Labuda said shipments from Saudi Arabia have not arrived under the new order, but when they do, importers will have to provide documentation verifying the origin of the items, as well as certification from the Saudi government that the goods are legitimate.
Saudi Arabia is not a member of the World Trade Organization, and the U.S. does not have a bilateral trade agreement with the Middle Eastern country.