If you import, export, transport, sell, receive or acquire goods made up of plant or wood products grown or manufactured outside of the US, then you are likely following the implementation of the Lacey Act. Currently, the Lacey Act implementation is in Phase 5, but will enter Phase 6 on October 1st, of this year. Keep reading to understand what this means to your business and the additional steps you will need to take.
Increased Documentation Requirements Rolled Out In Phases
Although the Lacey Act has been in place for years, amendments to it have steadily increased the documentation requirements, rolled out in phases.
Phase 1 - 2008
Phase 2 & 3 - 2009
Phase 4 - 2010
Phase 5 - 2015
Phase 6 - 2022
Phase 6 Documentation Requirements
Recently the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it will implement another phase of the Lacey Act. The notice states "Phase Six will require a plant import declaration for additional products such as essential oils, wood cases, trunks, and suitcases, Oriented Strand Board (OSB), and wooden crates, pallets and other wood packaging that are imported into the United States." (Source)
Declaration of affected goods will need to include details such as the scientific name, piece count or quantity, valuation for Customs purposes and list the country where the item originated.
Lacey Act Rule Change Allowing De Minimis:
On April 1, 2020 the USDA regulations changed, narrowing the number of goods containing plant materials that will require a Lacey Act import declaration. Under the new final rule, exemptions will be allowed for items containing less than 5% of the unit weight, and the imported product must not contain plant material weighing more than 2.9 kg.
This de minimis exception does not apply to products containing plant material listed in an appendix to the Convention on International Trade Enforcement Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora or as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.