Supply Chain Traceability
Supply chain traceability has never been more important for brands and retailers. With U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) empowered to seize shipments associated with forced labor, not only must an apparel brand, for example, understand where its jeans are stitched, but also which mill supplied the fabric and where the cotton was picked and ginned. In support of our clients’ regulatory requirements and ethical responsibilities, Omega has developed industry leading assessments to bring greater traceability over their supply chains.
Cotton Traceability Assessment
Given the growing concerns over forced labor in Xinjiang, where an estimated 80% of China’s cotton is produced, a growing number of organizations are seeking to understand if their apparel / textiles originate from this region. Not only are organizations with manufacturing in China potentially implicated, but suppliers in South East Asia procure cotton from Xinjiang and, under the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, those in Central Asia and Europe also. With a number organizations banning the sourcing of Xinjiang cotton, and Congress under pressure to legislate against it, this issue will continue to grow in prominence.
Omega’s traceability assessment is performed at factories, mills and other material suppliers. Unlike a responsible sourcing audit, the traceability assessment is not focused upon working conditions at that site. Instead, through a careful document review, and a management systems audit, the assessment maps the raw material inputs for a specific set of shipments. With this traceability, a brand can identify if a key apparel supplier in South China is procuring its fabric from a mill in Xinjiang, for example. Examples of the documents reviewed by Omega in the traceability assessment include:
- Material purchasing records
- Materials receiving and storage records
- Manufacturing records
- Shipping records
- Production records
- Delivery records
Country of Origin Assessment
Customs agencies in both the United States and the European Union have increased scrutiny over importers compliance with county of origin requirements. With significant penalties and shipment seizures possible, it is crucial that consumer brands, retailers and domestic suppliers, have complete confidence that their factories are complying with all applicable country of origin requirements during the manufacture of their products. The risk being that a factory in Vietnam, for example, imports its solar panels from China to improve its margin, then exports to its client in the United States misclassifying the shipment as Vietnam origin.
Omega has developed a Country of Origin Audit to ascertain the country of origin for any shipment. This audit begins with a detailed review of all pertinent shipment documentation, such as production records, country of origin certificates, inventory records and invoices. Once this phase is complete, Omega then visits the supplier interviewing management, touring the site and verifying information before reporting back to its client with its judgment on the origin of the specific purchase orders.
For more information on how Omega can support your business please contact us.