Worldwide Customs & Regulatory Updates

U.S. Import Declaration of Plants and Plant Products – Enforcement of Phase IV of the Lacey Act

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, implemented Phase IV of the “Lacey Act plant declaration” on April 1, 2010.  Commodities added in Phase IV include umbrellas, walking sticks, riding crops, pianos and stringed musical instruments, seats with wood frames, toys, games, sporting equipment, sculptures, and miscellaneous articles of wood.

Importers should work with their foreign suppliers to ensure that APHIS Form PPQ-505, Plant and Plant Product Declaration Form, is included with the documentation for any shipment containing these commodities. Shipments that require declaration and for which any or all of the data is missing may not be released until the declaration is submitted.

At present, APHIS is enforcing the declaration requirement for formal entries (i.e. most commercial shipments). APHIS is not enforcing the requirement for informal entries or personal imports. APHIS will issue a Federal Register notice before initiating any new enforcement guidelines.

Scientific names, including the genus and species, are required as part of the declaration. The APHIS site listed below includes links to several sites that may be helpful in identifying this information.

The required declaration can be mailed in hard copy form to APHIS, with a copy attached to the CBP entry. It may also be submitted electronically at the time the entry data is transmitted to CBP.

For more information on the Lacey Act and a complete list of commodities covered, please visit the following sources: