Lacey Act

Nankai Transport complies with revised Lacey Act

To our Valued Customers/Vendors:

On October 8, 2008, the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, published a Federal Register notice proposing the implementation of the declaration requirements instituted by recent amendments to the Lacey Act.  The Lacey Act, which dates back to 1900 and was designed to combat trafficking in illegal wildlife, fish and plants, was significantly expanded as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Under the revised Lacey Act, it will be unlawful to import plants or products incorporating plant material after December 15, 2008, without an import declaration.  The declaration must be submitted upon entry and it must contain the scientific name of the plant, the value of the importation, the quantity of the plant, and the name of the country from which the plant was harvested.  Violations of the Lacey Act provisions including the import declaration requirement, may be punished by civil or criminal penalties or by forfeiture of the merchandise.

In the Federal Register Notice, APHIS has proposed a phased-in approach to enforcement of the Lacey Act provisions.  On December 15, 2008, the declaration requirements are scheduled to take effect.  Initially, APHIS will publish a PPQ Plant Import Declaration Form for importers to complete on a voluntary basis.  No agencies authorized to enforce the Lacey Act will bring prosecutions or forfeiture actions for failure to complete the import declaration from December 15, 2008 until April 1, 2009.  However, any person who submits a form that contains false information may be prosecuted.

On April 1, 2009, APHIS believes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will have completed the means to enter and submit electronically the required data in the import declaration.  On this date, or as soon as the electronic system is available, APHIS will begin enforcement of the declaration for imports of wood and articles of wood under Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) chapter 44 and for imports of live trees, plants, bulbs, cut flowers, ornamental foliage and related items under Chapter 6.

From April 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009, APHIS intends to phase in enforcement of the import declarations to cover imports under additional HTS chapters.  On or about July 1, 2009, APHIS will begin enforcement of the declaration for imports of wood pulp under Chapter 47, paper and articles of paper under Chapter 48, musical instruments under Chapter 92 and furniture under Chapter 93.

On or about September 30, 2009, APHIS will begin enforcing the import declaration for additional HTS chapters, including the following:

Chapter 12 (oil seeds, misc grain, fruit, medicinal plants, etc),
Chapter 13 (gums, lacs, resins, vegetable saps, extracts, etc),
Chapter 14 (vegetable plaiting materials and products not elsewhere specified or included),
Chapter 45 (cork and articles of cork),
Chapter 46 (basket ware and wickerwork),
Chapter 66 (umbrellas, walking sticks, riding crops),
Chapter 82 (tools),
Chapter 93 (guns),
Chapter 95 (toys, games and sporting equipment),
Chapter 96 (brooms, pencils and buttons),
Chapter 97 (works of art).

The phased-in schedule for these and other HTS chapters will be the subject of a subsequent Federal Register Notice.

Helpful Links:

USDA – APHIS revises plan for Lacey Act.
CBP Guidance on the Lacey Act Declaration.
Fillable APHIS PPQ 505 form.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local NTI-USA branch office.