The U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has announced they are lifting the Withhold Release Order (WRO) on Sime Darby Plantation (SDP), one of the largest producers of palm oil in Malaysia, following an extensive review of their practices.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has engaged with the U.S. authorities throughout 2021 and 2022, alongside SDP and other industry participants, as well as Malaysian government officials.

MPOC held discussions, educational sessions and in-person meetings with the U.S. CBP, U.S. Department of Labor, and State Department. Training programmes were also arranged for Malaysian workers, after mutual agreement was reached.

These new dialogues and channels of communication, which opened following MPOC’s engagement with U.S. opinion-formers, have been a positive platform to share data and facts, and to communicate this information to U.S. authorities.

As a company, SDP can be proud of their efforts to demonstrate real change and reform, and MPOC salutes those efforts. Our job, however, is to represent the entire industry. This week’s announcement will come as a huge relief for SDP, but is also a testament to the hard work and dedication of MPOC, its staff and allies.

MPOC looks forward to continuing this dialogue with CBP and other U.S. authorities, and to maintain open communication on these issues of mutual interest.

Belvinder Sron
Acting CEO, Malaysian Palm Oil Council