May 13, 2020
Revised Lacey Act Provisions for Importing into the United States
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 amended the Lacey Act to provide, among other things, that importers submit a declaration at the time of importation for certain plants and plant products. Enforcement of the declaration requirement began on April 1, 2009, and products requiring a declaration are being phased-in.
The Lacey Act, first enacted in 1900 and significantly amended in 1981, is the United States’ oldest wildlife protection statute. The Act combats trafficking in illegally taken wildlife, fish, or plants. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, effective May 22, 2008, amended the Lacey Act by expanding its protection to a broader range of plants and plant products.
Phase VI of the enforcement schedule, will take effect on October 1, 2020. As part of the enforcement schedule, the USDA has added 29 new HTS codes that will require information upon import into the United States.
Product categories covered under this phase of the plan include:
- Essential Oils
- Trunks, Cases, Suitcases
- Wood and Articles of Wood
- Musical Instruments
- Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
The USDA is inviting public comment on the products covered under this phase of the plan, as well as on whether any additional Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) chapters should be included in the current phase-in schedule. Should there be additions to phase VI, the USDA will provide at least 6 months’ notice to persons and industries affected by those changes to facilitate compliance with the new requirements.