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APHIS Announces Effective Date of Phase Six of Lacey Act Enforcement Schedule

Home News APHIS Announces Effective Date of Phase Six of Lacey Act Enforcement Schedule

Below is a direct notice from the Cargo Systems Messaging Service. 

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 amended the Lacey Act to provide, among other things, that importers submit a declaration at the time of importation for certain plants and plant products. Enforcement of the declaration requirement began on April 1, 2009, and products requiring a declaration are being phased-in. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of a change in the date of implementation for Phase VI of the enforcement schedule. Implementation of Phase VI of the Lacey Act enforcement schedule will begin October 1, 2021.

On March 31, 2020, we published a notice in the Federal Register (85 FR 17849-17850, Docket No. APHIS-2008-0119) announcing Phase VI of the enforcement schedule, which would have begun on October 1, 2020. We solicited comments concerning our proposal until July 1, 2020. We received 31 comments by that date. They were from industry associations, conservation organizations, importers, exporters, and representatives of foreign governments.

Several commenters were concerned that adding products under Harmonized Tariff Code 4415, which includes cases, boxes, crates, drums, containers, pallets, and box-pallets, and other solid wood packaging materials, would result in unnecessary burden and disruptions to international trade if the declaration requirement was enforced for these packaging materials.

The Act specifies that the plant import declaration requirement does not apply to plants used exclusively as packaging material to support, protect, or carry another item, unless the packaging material itself is the item being imported (§ 3372(f)(3)). APHIS will only require a declaration for new products in Harmonized Tariff Code 4415 that are formally entering the United States. The declaration requirement will not apply to used, recycled, or reclaimed pallets or to pallets, empty or under load, that are used to carry goods imported into the United States.

Some commenters expressed concern about the addition of essential oils in Harmonized Tariff Code 3301.29.5150—essential oils of “other.” These commenters stated that it was unclear what was included under “other” and that there could be attempts to inaccurately classify products under different codes to avoid the plant import declaration requirement.

We agree with the commenters that this code may not provide sufficient specificity and could result in both deliberate and unintentional inaccuracies. Accordingly, we have decided to remove Harmonized Tariff Code 3301.29.5150—essential oils of “other” from this implementation phase.

In the initial notice, we included both Harmonized Tariff Code 9209.92 and the 10-digit Harmonized Tariff Code 9209.92.8000. Listing the 10-digit code is unnecessary, since it already falls under 9209.92. We also mistakenly categorized Harmonized Tariff Code 9209.99.8000 as “musical instruments of heading 9202, other.” It should read simply “Other.” We have corrected these errors. An updated list of Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes is set out below. Furthermore, we have decided to delay implementation of the enforcement phase based on the comments we received. Implementation of Phase VI will now begin on October 1, 2021.

For ACE inquiries, contact the USDA APHIS Lacey Act contact email address ace.itds@usda.gov

For more information, click here.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

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