Lacey Act Amendments

The Lacy Act amendments are upon us starting December 15, 2008. This affects anyone importing plants or any product made from plants. Sec. 8204 of the Farm Bill broadens the definition of “plant” under the Lacey Act to include trees and products that come from trees, and requires additional reporting for imports of these products. CBP is working with USDA to determine what products will be subject to this new law. Does this affect you? You may be surprised by the answer to this question. Here is a small part of a very long list of items (aside from obvious examples such as furniture, paper and wood flooring) that are likely to be covered by this law:
•Wine with corks
•Pots and pans with wooden handles
•Musical instruments, such as violins
•Pharmaceutical products
•Lipstick (made in part from wax from carob tree)
•Dried soup (that contains cellulose, which is a major component of wood)
•Hairspray (that is made in part from tree resins)
•Anything that comes with an instruction booklet (even if the product itself contains no wood or wood by-product)
Don’t think your products are covered? Consider this: Country Time lemonade that is contained in a plastic bottle, with a plastic cap and covered with a plastic wrapper contains, among other things, glycerol ester of wood rosin.

Glycerol ester of wood rosin is a common food additive and is prepared from resin acids of wood rosin harvested from the stumps of the longleaf pine. It will be covered by this law.

Click here to read the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) notice that is now in The Federal Register. The notice discusses USDA’s plans for phased-in implementation of the Lacey Act amendments.

The FR notice also notes that no agencies with Lacey Act enforcement authority will bring prosecutions or forfeiture actions for failing to complete the paper declaration form before the electronic system for data collection is available (April 1, 2009, or after). That being said, any person who submits a form containing false information may be prosecuted.

To learn more about the amendments to the Lacey Act go to the USDA website at:

Federal register page:

Lacey Act Q&A:

Lacey Act phase in:

Plant and Plant Product Declaration Form:

Letter to LACBFFA Members regarding the Lacey Act:

Letter from members of congress to department heads regarding the Lacey Act: