U.S. Customs Continues to Block LVT Shipments from Asia.
Chattanooga, TN, August 10, 2023-Importing LVT from Asia continues to be a source of frustration for several major importers, as roughly $200 million (at wholesale value) has been either quarantined or returned to the sender. Most of the frustration stems from the lack of communications from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) as to why some shipments are allowed through and others are blocked. Many of the major U.S. flooring brands are impacted as well as the national retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, LL Flooring and Floor & Decor.
According to one industry expert, "CPB is not targeting the importer but is focused on which factory produced the product and where they source their PVC.” Several of the key brands that we spoke to are having to rethink their sourcing strategy and pivot to an alternative source of supply. Initially, only LVT produced in China was impacted, but now products from Vietnam, Cambodia and India are being impacted. Companies that have a U.S. domestic source of supply are shifting as much of their demand need to their U.S. factories. Unfortunately, however, there is not enough domestic capacity to satisfy demand, U.S.-produced products are often more expensive, and it’s difficult to shift production and have the product match the sample.
This LVT importing issue is the result of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which was signed into law to prevent the importing of goods into the U.S. that has components that were manufactured in the Uyghur region or Xinjiang. According to one importer, “The biggest frustration throughout this whole process is that the CPB has decided which suppliers are allowed and which are suspect but is not openly communicating that information to the importers."
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