U.S.: Update on the Lacey Act Import Declaration Enforcement Schedule

The Lacey Act is a U.S. wildlife protection statute designed to combat illegal trafficking in wildlife, fish and certain plants. Recent amendments to the Lacey Act, aimed in part at curbing illegal logging, expand its protections to include any wild member of the plant kingdom (including trees from natural or planted forest stands), and any products made thereof. Thus provisions of this statute now apply to a broad range of plant products such as wood, pressed wood, furniture, wood pulp, paper and paperboard, books and printed materials, wood items, plant based resins, pharmaceuticals and textiles, among others.  The substantive prohibition on commerce in illegally sourced plants and plant products is in effect and enforceable now. In addition, new import declaration provisions were slated to take effect December 15, 2008; however, agencies with enforcement authority agreed not to begin enforcing the import declaration requirements until April 1, 2009.


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