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Implementation of Import Declaration for Plants and Plant Products Under Review

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is conducting a required review of the implementation of the import declaration requirement for certain plants and plant products contained in the Lacey Act amendments made by the 2008 Farm Bill. Public comments on this issue are due no later than April 14. 

Under the Lacey Act amendments, imports of certain plants and plant products must 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 from which the plant was harvested. APHIS started phasing in this requirement as of Dec. 15, 2008, and it currently applies to items classified under HTSUS headings 4402 (wood charcoal); 4412 (plywood, veneered panels), except 4412.99.06 and 4412.99.57; 4414 (wooden frames); 4419 (tableware and kitchenware); 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); and 9703 (sculptures). Additional products could be added in the future, but APHIS has said it plans to provide at least six months’ notice before any such action is taken.

The amendments also require APHIS to review the implementation of the declaration requirements, including the effect of certain exclusions, and to submit to Congress a report detailing the results of that review. This report must include an evaluation of the effectiveness of each type of required information in assisting enforcement, the potential for harmonization with other applicable import regulations and an analysis of the new law’s effects on the cost of legal plant imports and the extent and methodology of illegal logging practices and trafficking. APHIS must also provide recommendations for appropriate legislation to assist in the identification of violative plant imports. APHIS is therefore soliciting from the public information on these topics as well as other issues pertinent to the implementation and enforcement of the 2008 Lacey Act amendments.

For more information, please contact Customized Brokers at 305-471-8989. Information provided by Sandler & Travis, Trade Advisory Services, Inc.