The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has advised that it is delaying the planned enforcement of Lacey Act import declaration requirements on 29 new tariff lines that were to have taken effect on October 1, 2020.
Earlier this year, the agency published a Federal Register notice announcing its intent to implement phase six of the Lacey Act enforcement schedule covering certain essential oils, wood cases and trunks, musical instruments, pallets, and various other products.
However, in response to concerns expressed during the public comment process by business groups such as the Household and Commercial Products Association about operational and further economic setbacks it would cause under the present circumstances, the agency said the delay “will give the trade community time to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for this change.”
No future date has been indicated for the resumption of phase six enforcement.
APHIS will be publishing a Federal Register notice in the coming weeks to formalize the delayed implementation.
First enacted in 1900, the Lacey Act combats trafficking in illegally taken wildlife, fish, or plants. 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.
APHIS ensures compliance with the declaration requirement as part of its mission to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources, and it began enforcing the declaration requirement on April 1, 2009.
Need More Information?
Comprehensive information about the Lacey Act and the products that currently require a declaration can be found here.