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Blanket Import Declaration Program for Plant Products to be Terminated

Friday, October 20, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced that its pilot program allowing blanket import declarations under the Lacey Act will end on April 23, 2018.

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. Click here for the most recent list of plants and plant products subject to the import declaration requirement.

In May 2009 APHIS initiated a blanket Lacey Act import declaration pilot program for participants in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s expedited border release programs (Automated Line Release or Border Release Advance Screening and Selectivity) in the Automated Commercial System. This pilot tested the feasibility of collecting the required information through the use of a monthly declaration with subsequent reconciliation reports. Blanket declarations could be used to declare routine and/or repeat shipments.

APHIS states that while 82 individual companies registered a total of 119 participants with the pilot, by January 2017 only eight companies were still participating. In addition, ACS has largely been replaced by the Automated Commercial Environment. As a result, APHIS is ending the pilot program.

APHIS notes that CBP’s BRASS program will continue to operate as it did prior to the creation of the pilot and that pilot participants will not lose their line release status in the expedited border release programs. As a result, when the pilot ends, importers whose products are subject to the Lacey Act declaration requirement and clear under BRASS are advised to file the required declaration information along with their CBP entry summary documentation.

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