WASHINGTON — The International Wood Products Assn.  (IWPA) praised a compromise approach to combat illegal logging that provides forfeiture liability protection for small businesses that have practiced due diligence in their supply chain. H.R. 1497, the Legal Timber Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would target illegal logging by amending the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to extend protections to plants illegally harvested outside of the United States.

IWPA notes, however, that the Senate companion legislation (S. Amdt. 3502) does not currently include the technical clarifications to H.R. 1497 that provides for protection of “innocent owners,” clarifies the definition of “any foreign law” to reflect natural resource laws, reduces the $10,000 paperwork fines and resolves the discrepancy between the bill’s language and existing U.S. customs laws.

“We hope the Senate will follow the leadership…in the House and adopt similar compromise language,” said IWPA Executive Vice President Brent McClendon

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