KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — Top Glove Corporation Bhd expects the issues surrounding the US detention order on rubber gloves produced by its two subsidiaries, Top Glove Sdn Bhd and TG Medical Sdn Bhd, to be resolved by year-end.
Executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said the group was currently working to solve the issue and it had been progressing well.
“We believe it will be settled very soon. We estimate it to be before the end of the year. We believe within a month, it should be settled; but this is a mere estimate,” he said during a virtual press and analyst briefing on the group’s performance for the financial year ended Aug 31, 2020.
On July 15, the US Control Border and Protection (CBP) placed a detention order on imported disposable gloves manufactured by Top Glove’s subsidiaries in relation to suspected forced labour practised at the group’s factories.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Top Glove had submitted an audit report, which was prepared by an independent consultant, to the US CBP.
The report involved virtual interviews with about 1,100 of the company’s migrant and local workers across various locations.
The glove producer did not expect the issue to impact its revenue and profit due to strong demand as well as long lead time from other countries, said managing director Datuk Lee Kim Meow.
He noted that the company was actively engaging with the US CBP towards uplifting the withhold release order.
Lee said the total remediation payment was estimated at RM53 million, subject to finalisation with the US Customs Border and Protection.
“We have made two remediation payments, one on Aug 10 and another on Sept 10. The CBP has requested us to conduct an independent audit and we have done that.
“At the same time, we have submitted a report to them and we continue our process of engaging them,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lee said demand for gloves was likely to remain strong as the vaccine for Covid-19 would likely take some time to be available.
“Gloves will continue to feature very prominently in everyone’s life. At this time, face masks and gloves have been pushed to the forefront as essential items for personal hygiene and protection against this virus. Post-Covid-19, I do not foresee any difference in people’s attitude,” he added.