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Import Declaration to be Required for More Plant Products in August; Exceptions Considered

Monday, February 09, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The next phase in the enforcement of the Lacey Act import declaration requirement for plants and plant products is planned to begin Aug. 6. At the same time, two possible exceptions from the declaration requirement are being developed.

As amended in 2008, the Lacey Act requires imports of certain plants and plant products to 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 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.

Current Coverage. The import declaration requirement currently applies to items classified under the following HTSUS headings.

- 4401 (fuel wood)

- 4402 (wood charcoal)

- 4403 (wood in the rough)

- 4404 (hoopwood; poles, piles, stakes)

- 4406 (railway or tramway sleepers)

- 4407 (wood sawn or chipped lengthwise)

- 4408 (sheets for veneering)

- 4409 (wood continuously shaped)

- 4412 (plywood, veneered panels), except 4412.99.06 and 4412.99.57

- 4414 (wooden frames)

- 4417 (tools, tool handles, broom handles)

- 4418 (builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood)

- 4419 (tableware and kitchenware of wood)

- 4420 (wood 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)

Proposed Expansion. Phase V of the import declaration enforcement schedule is scheduled to begin Aug. 6 and cover products classified under the following HTSUS subheadings.

- 4416.00.3010 (new casks, barrels and parts of wood)

- 4416.00.3020 (used assembled casks of wood)

- 4416.00.3030 (used unassembled casks of wood)

- 4416.00.6010 (new barrel staves of wood)

- 4416.00.6020 (new barrel hoops of softwood)

- 4416.00.6030 (new tight barrelheads of wood)

- 4416.00.6040 (used barrels staves of softwood)

- 4416.00.6050 (used hoops, tight barrelheads of softwood)

- 4416.00.9020 (new other casks, barrels, wood)

- 4416.00.9040 (used other cooper goods, wood)

- 8211.92.6000 (hunting knives with wood handles)

- 8215.99.2400 (table barbeque forks with wood handles)

- 9401.61.2010 (upholstered teak chair, household)

- 9401.61.2030 (upholstered teak chairs, other)

- 9401.90.1500 (parts of bent-wood seats)

- 9403.30.4000 (bent-wood office furniture)

- 9403.40.4000 (bent-wood kitchen furniture)

- 9403.50.4000 (bent-wood bedroom furniture)

- 9403.60.4000 (other bent-wood furniture)

- 9614.00.2100 (rough wood blocks for smoking pipe manufacture)

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service invites public comment no later than April 7 on the proposed addition of the above products and whether any other HTSUS chapters should be included in the current phase-in schedule.

Enforcement. APHIS is enforcing the declaration requirement for formal entries (most commercial shipments) of covered products and at this time is not requiring a declaration for informal entries (most personal shipments), personal importations, mail, transportation and exportation entries, in-transit movements, carnet importations (merchandise or equipment that will be reexported within a year) and foreign-trade zone and warehouse entries.

Exceptions. APHIS states that it is in the process of developing a proposal to establish exceptions from the import declaration requirement for composite materials and products that contain a minimal amount of plant material. This proposal stems from public comments arguing that identifying composite and recycled or reused materials (e.g., medium density fiberboard, particleboard and scrap wood) to the genus and/or species level would be difficult and in some cases impossible and requesting a de minimis exception for minimal amounts of non-listed (i.e., not of conservation concern) plant materials contained in an otherwise non-plant product, such as wooden buttons on a shirt. Once APHIS completes this proposal it will be published in the Federal Register for public comment.

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