USDA mulls changes to Lacey ActWASHINGTON --

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspectial Service will accept public comments on proposed changes to the Lacey Act through August 29.

The USDA published announcement of several changes to the Lacey Act in the June 30 Federal Register. Among other things, the agency is considering creating certain exceptions to the declaration requirement and modifying the Declaration Form PPQ 505 to simplify the collection of information.

Congress amended the Lacey Act was in 2008 to make it unlawful to import illegally sourced timber and wood products into the United States.

According to American Shipper Florida Connection, changes under consideration include:

• Whether an exception from the declaration requirement for products containing minimal amounts of plant material could be developed that would be less burdensome while still carrying out the intent of the Lacey Act amendments.

• How importers may comply with the declaration requirement when importing composite plant products whose genus, species and country of harvest of some or all of the plant material may be extremely difficult or prohibitively expensive to determine.

• How to accommodate products made of re-used plant materials, or plant materials harvested or manufactured prior to the 2008 Lacey Act amendments, and for which identifying country of harvest, and possibly species, would be difficult if not impossible.

• Whether groups of species commonly used in commercial production, could be given a separate name that could be entered on the declaration form as a type of shorthand identification of genus and species, such as the currently recognized “SPF” acronym for “spruce, pine and fir.”

Posted by Rich Christianson

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.