Lacey Act Library

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Lacey Act QuickLinks

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 amended the Lacey Act of 1900 to require that US importers of plants and plant products submit a declaration at the time of importation, which states, among other details, the scientific name of the plant and the country in which it was harvested. “Plant products” is vaguely defined, to the extent that it could include articles such as hammer handles, sweater buttons made of wood, furniture, paper, and musical instruments.

The declaration requirement became effective on Dec. 15th, 2008. A de minimis exemption was added to the regulations on 03/02/20, allowing importers to avoid the declaration for products containing no more than 5% of plant material, by weight, of the individual product unit, provided the total weight of plant material does not exceed 2.9 kg for the entire 10 digit harmonized tariff number. 03/12/20

Part of the qualify control process that FgL has implemented during entry processing is checking the existence, and completeness, of Lacey Act declarations. When a Lacey Declaration is not on file, or is incomplete, a notification will be issued, providing the importer an opportunity to address the issue. No entry will be filed until the issue is resolved, in order that the underlying data can then properly be submitted via the CBP ACE system.

The Lacey Act can be complex, and understanding the requirements can be challenging and time-consuming. Importers of affected products will find an investment of time reviewing the USDA Lacey pages to be a wise one: