Guidance on the Lacey Act Declaration
The Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq., the Act) as amended makes it unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any plant, with some limited exceptions, taken or traded in violation of the laws of the United States, a U.S. State or a foreign country. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has been phasing in the Lacey Act declaration requirement. The products that require a Lacey Act declaration are listed by Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Chapter or Heading on the APHIS Lacey Act program website.
APHIS continues to evaluate products to include in future phases and publishes notices in the Federal Register to keep stakeholders and the public informed. The most recent Notice of Phase VI enforcement schedule was published on March 31 for public comment.
PPQ Form 505: Plant and Plant Product Declaration
The Lacey Act requires an import declaration upon importation. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated the process for collecting the PPQ Form 505 data elements. Data will be transmitted to CBP's Automated Commercial System (ACS) through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) in the cargo release and entry summary modules. A declaration is required to obtain release of most products if filing in ACE. Electronic filing of the PPQ 505 declaration will not preclude remote location filing. Additional information on how to electronically file the PPQ 505 data can be found in the Participating Government Agencies chapter in the Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR) page. An importer has the option to complete and present a paper Plant and Plant Product Declaration Form PPQ 505 for each line. If a paper form is used, the importer must mail the form to USDA at the address on the form. Importers may also file electronically in USDA, APHIS’ web-based system, “Lacey Act Web Governance System (LAWGS). Contact APHIS for information about this option.
For All Importers
CBP expects and urges most importers to use ACE to file the declaration. CBP also advises importers not to use the PPQ Form 505 if they intend to file the declaration in ACE. If an entry package is presented to CBP to obtain release, the CBP 3461 form will be annotated in Box 29 to indicate "PPQ 505-Paper" if the declaration is presented in paper or "PPQ 505-ABI" if the declaration information was submitted electronically. If an original, signed paper form is submitted to CBP as part of the entry package, the paper form will be returned to the importer (or importer's representative) for mailing to USDA. CBP will not mail forms to USDA. As a reminder, providing false or misleading information to the U.S. government can result in civil or criminal actions against any involved party and may result in the seizure and forfeiture of the merchandise.
APHIS has been designated the lead regulatory agency for these requirements and CBP is assisting APHIS with the electronic collection of data to fulfill the import declaration requirement. CBP will continue to work as part of the interagency working group, consulting with trading partners, importers, exporters, and other interested groups as the provisions of the Act are fully implemented. The most current information on implementation of the amended Lacey Act and additional information about electronically filing the declaration can be found on the USDA website at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/lacey_act.