New USDA Tool Aims to Reduce Filing of Paper Lacey Act Declarations
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced Aug. 5 a new tool intended to assist importers who are currently filing paper Lacey Act declarations for imported plants and plant products (PPQ form 505). The Lacey Act Web Governance System, which APHIS anticipates launching in late 2013, will allow filers to submit these declarations electronically and to save commonly used declaration data in templates for quick and easy future submissions. APHIS notes that this tool will not replace the Automated Broker Interface process currently used by the vast majority of importers to file Lacey Act declarations electronically.
In preparation for launching the LAWGS, APHIS will hold webinars to showcase the system’s functionality. The number and frequency of these webinars will depend on public interest. Any individual or group interested in participating in a LAWGS webinar should therefore send APHIS an email request that has “LAWGS webinar” in the subject line and includes the name and type of organization (law group, retailer, manufacturer, government, etc.), the number/names of people who would like to participate, any dates or times best suited for the most people to participate, and whether there is interest in additional Lacey Act instruction beyond the LAWGS introduction.