Malaysia's FGV to pick auditor to assess forced labour accusation

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s FGV Holdings Bhd will appoint an independent auditor to assess its operations for signs of forced labour on the advice of U.S. Customs, the company told the stock exchange on Friday, with a report expected eight months later.

In September, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) banned imports from the world’s largest producer of crude palm oil over accusations of forced labour.

The company said it was seeking proposals and expected to make its choice in August, immediately after which will begin the assessment against 11 criteria set by the International Labour Organization.

“FGV estimates that it would be able to submit to the CBP... the assessment report together with FGV’s proposed remediation plan within eight months upon the appointment of the independent auditor,” it added.

FGV has previously said it was disappointed by the U.S. accusation, despite its steps in past years to show commitment to human rights and upholding labour standards.

U.S. Customs had said it would consider a petition to revoke the import ban if FGV could provide credible evidence that it did not use forced labour. (Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)