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SHEIN faces multiple accusations in US, South Africa of using slave labor and evading tariffs



A coalition named "Shut Down SHEIN" is running a campaign to raise awareness of Shein's alleged human rights abuses and questionable business practices.

Shein is a fast-fashion company based in China, claimed to have with links to TikTok and the Chinese Communist Party. The campaign's objective is to inform U.S. government officials and the American public about the alleged ways in which Shein is committing human rights abuses and evading tariffs worth billions of dollars by exploiting import laws.

Shein has been accused of using cotton picked by slaves in Xinjiang, violating the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and federal law. Additionally, the company is accused of taking advantage of a tariff loophole, allowing it to sell products below market value and evade U.S. tariffs.

Manipulating, evading import duties

Shein 's policies consider users as importers of record, which means every user is an individual importer. Orders under $800 do not trigger reporting requirements to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, enabling Shein to avoid tariffs and transfer the legal responsibility to the U.S. consumer to prove that the products are not produced using slave labor. The coalition believes that Shein is breaching U.S. and international law and using American consumers as accomplices.

Shut Down SHEIN aims to ensure a level playing field for all companies doing business in America, compliance with federal and international law, and protect American consumers. Chapin Fay, Shut Down SHEIN Executive Director, stated that the campaign's focus is on anti-competitive business practices and treating workers with respect.

The campaign's launch coincides with the U.S. government's renewed scrutiny of Shein 's business ally TikTok. As Shein intends to go public and be listed on a U.S. stock exchange in the next year.

Retail federation of South Africa protests duty evasion

In another event, South Africa's Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has started investigating Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shein for allegedly evading import duties. The investigation follows complaints lodged by trade unions National Clothing Retail Federation of South Africa and the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union, alleging that Shein did not pay import duties on orders made by its South African customers.


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