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FGV CEO hopes for lifting of US ban on its palm oil products by end-2023

Publish date: Fri, 13 Jan 2023, 10:35 AM

PASIR GUDANG (Jan 13): FGV Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nazrul Izam Mansor hopes the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ban on the group's palm oil products will be lifted by the end of 2023.

"We have set a target to submit the application by the first quarter of this year (by March 31, 2023). It will take some time for them (the US CBP) to consider the petition.

"We hope the petition will be lifted towards the end of this year, maybe earlier," he said during a media visit to FGV subsidiary Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd in Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru on Thursday (Jan 12).

It has been more than two years since the US CBP announced the import ban on Sept 30, 2020. It was preceded by a year-long investigation that reportedly found evidence of forced labour at the plantation giant.

Eight Malaysian companies have been slapped with the withhold release order by the US CBP in the past two years regarding forced labour issues. These companies are manufacturers of rubber gloves and palm oil products.

Six companies still on the list are FGV, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, Smart Glove, Brightway Group, YTY Group, as well as Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd and Supermax Glove Manufacturing, which are collectively under Supermax Corp Bhd.

On the labour shortage, FGV's divisional director for the plantation sector Mohd Sarian Md Sahid commented that the issue will be "completely" solved by the end of March, with an additional 5,000 foreign workers (from Indonesia and India, among others) coming in. 

FGV’s share price closed at RM1.33 on Thursday, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM4.85 billion.

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