Issued: October 8, 2008
On May 22, 2008, the Lacey Act was amended to make it illegal to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, any plant-with limited exceptions-to be taken or traded in violation of domestic or international laws.
The Act extends the statute's reach to include a broader range of plants and plant products, including timber deriving from illegally harvested plants. Illegal logging robs countries, destroys forests, and competes with the legal production and trade. This Act provides the legal authority to take action when products stemming from the practice of illegal logging enter the United States.
The Act now requires an import declaration for plants that includes the scientific name of any plant, a description of the value, quantity, and the name of the country from where the plant was taken. If a plant species or country of origin cannot be determined, the plant declaration must include a list of possible plant species found in the product or a list of possible countries from which the plant originated.
APHIS and the other Federal agencies involved in enforcing the provisions in the Act are working together to phase in enforcement of the declaration beginning April 2009.