Ninestar Products Banned from U.S. Entry by Department of Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has restricted the import of products manufactured by two China-based companies, including Ninestar, the majority shareholder of Lexmark International in Lexington, Kentucky. The action stems from alleged forced labor practices in conjunction with China’s Xinjiang region.

DHS contends that products from Ninestar, which registered sales of $3.6 billion in 2022, and its eight Zuhai-based subsidiaries were restricted from U.S. entry due to its “participation in business practices that target members of persecuted groups including Uyghur minorities in the PRC,” the DHS said in a June 9 release.

Ninestar and Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co., Ltd., were added to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List, triggering an import ban that began June 12. The UFLPA, signed into law by President Biden in December 2021, prohibits goods from being imported into the United States that are either produced in Xinjiang or by entities identified on the UFLPA Entity List, unless the importer can prove, by clear and convincing evidence, the goods were not produced with forced labor. There are now 22 PRC companies on the UFLPA list.

“The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force will continue to hold companies accountable for perpetuating human rights violations in Xinjiang,” said Homeland Security Undersecretary Robert Silvers. “The use of forced labor offends our values and undercuts American businesses and workers. Forced labor is now a top-tier compliance issue, and businesses must know their supply chains. DHS and the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force will continue their vigilant approach to implementing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.”

The former Apex Technology acquired a 62% stake in Lexmark back in 2016. Investors have no operational control of the company, and Lexmark’s board of directors consists solely of U.S. citizens. A spokesperson for Lexmark told the Wall Street Journal, “Lexmark is committed to upholding the highest standards of human rights and fair labor practices. We do not anticipate business disruption resulting from the order.”

Erik Cagle
About the Author
Erik Cagle is the editorial director of ENX Magazine. He is an author, writer and editor who spent 18 years covering the commercial printing industry.