The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced the schedule for the next expansion of the requirement for a Lacey Act import declaration.

The Lacey Act makes it unlawful to import certain plants, including plant products, without an import declaration that contains the scientific name of the plant, value of the importation, quantity of the plant, and name of the country from which the plant was harvested. For paper and paperboard products containing recycled content, the declaration must also include the average percent of recycled content without regard for species or country of harvest.

The declaration requirement does not apply to plants used exclusively as packaging material to support, protect, or carry another item unless the packaging material itself is the item being imported. There is also an exception for imported goods containing plant material that represents no more than five percent of the total weight of the individual product unit.

Enforcement of the import declaration requirement began April 1, 2009, and has been expanded several times since, most recently in 2021.

APHIS states that phase VII of its implementation of the declaration requirement will include a wide variety of materials and plant products, such as furniture, cork, and some essential oils that have not yet required a declaration. APHIS states that it will publish a list of affected HTSUS numbers this fall and require declarations for those products six months later.

APHIS notes that in this next phase Lacey Act declarations will be required for all remaining plant product HTSUS numbers that are not 100 percent composite materials. Importers of such goods that do not currently file a declaration will likely need to once phase VII is implemented. APHIS therefore encourages importers to prepare by becoming familiar with their supply chains and reviewing what information is necessary to file a declaration.

For more information on the Lacey Act import declaration requirement, please contact Ned Steiner at (202) 730-4970 or via email.

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