What Is The Lacey Act?

The Lacey Act is currently in Phase IV, which was implemented on April 1, 2010. It is important for all exporters and importers of wood and plant containing matter entering into the U. S. to know how this will affect you.

The Lacey Act has been amended to make it illegal to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, any plant or wood product -- with very limited exceptions -- taken or traded in violation of domestic or international laws.

Under the Lacey Act amendments included in the 2008 Farm Bill, imports of certain plants and plant products must be accompanied by an import declaration that contains, among other things, the scientific name of the plant, the value of the importation, the quantity of the plant and the name of the country from where the plant was harvested. For paper and paperboard products containing recycled content, the declaration also must include the average percent of recycled content without regard for species or country of harvest. USDA began phasing in its enforcement of this requirement in December 2008. Phases II and III of the Lacey Act became effective in 2009.

The underlying ban on the importation of illegal wood and wood products has been in effect since May 2008. The phase in process refers to the required documentation that must be provided for certain articles upon importation to the United States.

List of products and HTS headings currently affected:

  • 4401 - fuel wood
  • 4402 - wood charcoal
  • 4403 - rough wood
  • 4404 - poles, stakes
  • 4406 - rail sleepers
  • 4407 - wood sawn or chipped
  • 4408 - veneering
  • 4409 - moldings
  • 4412 - plywood, veneered panels (some exceptions)
  • 4414 - wooden frames
  • 4417 - tool handles
  • 4418 - joinery, doors
  • 4419 - tableware, kitchenware
  • 4420 - marquetry, caskets, statuettes
  • 4421 - other articles of wood
  • 6602 - walking sticks, whips, crops
  • 8201 - hand tools
  • 9201 - pianos
  • 9202 - other stringed instruments
  • 9302 - revolvers and pistols
  • 9305.10.20 - parts and accessories for revolvers and pistols
  • 9401.69 - seats with wood frames
  • 9504.20 - articles and accessories for billiards
  • 9703 - sculptures

Pacific Customs Brokers continues to urge you to gather information on this Act and to attend our informative seminars on the Lacey Act Amendment. It is likely that there will be further phases to the Lacey Act, and we will post this information as it becomes available.

For more information, please visit Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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About Author
Breanna Leininger
CCS, LCB

Breanna has been in the industry since 2004 and has dealt with clearances and compliance concerns for a multitude of commodities for all ports of entry and all modes of transportation. She has a Bachelors in Communications, Bachelors in Political Science & Government, is a Licensed Customs Broker as well as Certified Customs Specialist. Breanna has been asked to be the speaker as a variety of events including the BC Agriculture Show, Doing Business in the US seminar and has been a contributor to Small Business BC publications She was recently nominated for the NCBFAA Government Affairs Conference Emerging Leaders and Mentors by the NBCBA. She participates in the Northern Border Customs Brokers Association and the NCBFAA annual conferences in Washington, DC. Breanna has a deep passion for politics, global affairs, and how communication shapes policy and international business relationships. She feels very fortunate to work in an industry that allows her to take part in how policy impacts the global economy and domestic businesses of all shapes and sizes.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.
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