Enforcement of Lacey Act Declaration Postponed for Certain Products

On September 2, 2009, the Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA) issued a notice in the Federal Register that modifies the schedule of enforcement of the declaration requirement for goods of, or containing, plants or plant products. The notice affects the enforcement schedule from December 15, 2008 to August 31, 2010. 

Phase III of the enforcement, scheduled to begin on October 1, 2009, was modified by removing certain items from this phase. Thus, beginning October 1, 2009, the declaration requirement will be enforced only for the items in the following HTS Chapter 44 headings: 

·    4402 - Wood charcoal; 
·    4412 - Plywood, veneered panels, except 4412.99.06 and 4412.99.57; 
·    4414 - Wooden frames; 
·    4419 - Tableware & kitchenware of wood; and 
·    4420 - Wood marquetry, caskets, statuettes. 

Phase IV of the enforcement, scheduled to begin April 1, 2009, has been substantially revised. There will be no further additions to phases III or IV. 

USDA is seeking comments on the revised enforcement schedule as well as HTS chapters/subchapters currently under consideration to be enforced beginning September 1, 2010. Specifically, USDA seeks comments on the products in the following HTS chapters: 44, 47, 48, 66, 82, 89, 92, 93, 94, 95, and 96. More detailed explanation of the enforcement schedule and included products can be found in the notice. 

USDA noted that, while enforcement of the import declaration requirement is being phased in, some of the Lacey Amendments are already effective, and actions to enforce provisions of the Act other than the declaration requirement may be taken at any time.