The Lacy Act - a Global Timber Protection Act - EIA Website Link.
The U.S. Lacey Act - in Short... Frequently Asked Questions About The Ban On Trade In Illegal Wood... 1. What is the U.S. Lacey Act and why is it important? On May 22, 2008, the U.S. Congress passed a groundbreaking law banning commerce in illegally sourced plants and their products — including timber and wood products. The new law is an amendment to a 100- year-old statute, named the Lacey Act after the Congressman who first championed it. While the Lacey Act has long been one of the most powerful tools for the U.S. agencies fighting wildlife crime, its potential to combat illegal logging remained untapped to date. Now the Lacey Act sets a groundbreaking precedent for the global trade in plants and plant products, acknowledging and supporting other countries’ efforts to govern their own natural resources and putting in place powerful incentives for companies trading in these commodities to do the same. 2. What does the U.S.’s new law do to address illegal logging? To address illegal logging and other illegal plant trade, the Lacey Act now does three main things: • prohibits all trade in plant and plant products (e.g., furniture, paper, or lumber) that are illegally sourced from any U.S. state or any foreign • country. (See question 3 for what “illegally sourced” means.) • requires importers to declare the country of origin of harvest and species name of all plants contained in their products. • establishes penalties for violation of the Act, including forfeiture of goods and vessels, fines and jail time. 3. What is “illegal” under the Lacey Act? There are two components to a violation of the Lacey Act. First, a plant must be taken, harvested, possessed, transported, sold or exported in violation of an underlying law in any foreign country or the U.S. This constitutes an illegally sourced plant. The scope of these underlying laws that can trigger a Lacey Act plant violation is limited to those laws which protect plants or regulate the following: 1. theft of plants; 2. taking plants from an officially protected area, such as a park or reserve; 3. taking plants from other types of “officially designated areas” that are recognized by a country’s laws and regulations; 4. taking plants without, or contrary to, the required authorization; 5. failure to pay appropriate royalties, taxes or fees associated with the plant’s harvest, transport or commerce; or 6. laws governing export or trans-shipment, such as a log-export ban. 4. What information must be declared and why? The Lacey Act requires importers to provide a basic declaration to accompany every shipment of plants or plant products. The purpose of these declarations is to increase transparency about the timber and plant trade and enable the U.S. government to better enforce the law. The declaration must contain: 1. the scientific name of any species used, 2. the country of harvest, 3. the quantity and measure, and