Plant and Wood Product Declarations - Lacey Act

On July 9, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published an interim final rule defining 'common food crop' and 'common cultivar'. For information, refer to Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 131.

On April 1, 2010, the USDA began enforcement of Phase IV of the Lacey Act. Phase IV included certain items classified in the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Chapters:

  • Ch. 44 – (Wood and articles of wood)
  • Ch. 66 – (Umbrellas, walking sticks, riding crops)
  • Ch. 82 – (Hand tools)
  • Ch. 92 – (Musical instruments)
  • Ch. 93 – (Arms and ammunition) For information only, these are prohibited items when shipping with FedEx.
  • Ch. 94 – (Furniture, etc.)
  • Ch. 95 – (Toys, games, sporting equipment)
  • Ch. 97 – (Works of art)

Please refer to the Federal Register Notice Phase-In Schedule dated Sep. 2, 2009 for more information.

In 2009, APHIS published a revised plan and schedule for implementation of several changes to the Lacey Act. The changes required a declaration for "wild plants", trees, and products made from either of those two. Although the declaration had been required for these products since Dec. 15, 2008, the revised plan clarified several important elements of the changes, including the scope of the products that required declaration and the time period of the implementation phases.

The revised plan included the following information:

  • Phase II began on April 1, 2009 and required an electronic submission of the declaration for all items named in Phase II.
  • The declaration would only be enforced for "formal consumption entries" (greater than USD$2,500).* However, while the new declaration was not enforced for informal entries, personal importations, in-transit movements, etc., APHIS reserves the authority to require it at some future date.
  • The declaration would only be required for the actual imported article, and would not be required for "sundries" such as "tags, labels, manuals, and warranty cards" that accompany the imported article.
  • Full enforcement was at the completion of Phases III and IV.

The phases were basically broken down by degree of processing of the product. For example, Phase II included such items as fuel wood, railway sleepers, sheets for veneering, etc. Phase III included further processed wood products such as plywood, packing cases, tableware and kitchenware, etc. Finally, Phase IV included such things as corrugated paper and board, carbon paper, furniture, etc.

For each phase of implementation, the APHIS notice included a complete list of commodities that required a declaration. Phase II covered wood and articles of wood classified in Chapter 44 of the HTS. The data elements required in the declaration can be found in APHIS form PPQ-505, available on the APHIS website.

*Note* The plant material quantities reported on the Plant and Plant Product Declaration Form 505 must only be for the actual amount of plant material in the article and must be reported in standard metric units.

Additional information:

*Effective January 8, 2013, the low-value threshold increased from USD$2,000 to USD$2,500.