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Lacey Act and It's Affect On The Hardwood Flooring Industry

By FAF Staff Writer, (890 words) Posted in Hardwood Flooring on September 15, 2009
There are (69) comments permalink

The Lacey Act and its revisions continue to be a hot topic in the floor covering industry; with emphasis on the hardwood floor manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Jim Gould, President of the Floor Covering Institute (FCI) wrote an article addressing Lacey. For those flooring professionals that deal in wood flooring, this is a must read: Continuing Wood Trade Under the Lacey Act Amendments.

FloorDaily.net also did a well written piece discussing Lacey and summarizing Jim Gould's Lacey article. Read the article on FloorDaily.net titled FCI Addresses Lacey Act Trade Concerns.

The following is an update from Anne Middleton of the Environmental Investigation Agency. If you have further questions, Anne's contact information is at the conclusion of this Lacey Act blog.

Lacey Act Declaration Enforcement Postponed for Numerous Products

The Department of Agriculture has issued a notice modifying the schedule of enforcement of the import declaration requirement under the Lacey Act amendments. This modification postpones enforcement for numerous products. Comments on this action are due by Nov. 2.

Under the Lacey Act amendments included in the 2008 Farm Bill, imports of certain plants and plant products must be accompanied by an import declaration that contains, among other things, the scientific name of the plant, the value of the importation, the quantity of the plant and the name of the country from where the plant was harvested. For paper and paperboard products containing recycled content, the declaration also must include the average percent of recycled content without regard for species or country of harvest. USDA began phasing in its enforcement of this requirement in December 2008.

After a review of comments received, further internal consideration and experience with implementation of the first phase of enforcement of the declaration requirement, the USDA has revised the phase–in schedule as follows. USDA emphasizes, however, that Lacey Act amendment provisions other than the import declaration are already effective and that actions to enforce those provisions may be taken at any time.

Revised List for Phase III. Phase III, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, now covers only items classified in the following HTSUS headings.

  • 4402 (wood charcoal)
  • 4412 (plywood, veneered panels), except 4412.99.06 and 4412.99.57
  • 4414 (wooden frames)
  • 4419 (tableware and kitchenware)
  • 4420 (wood marquetry, caskets, statuettes)

Revised List for Phase IV. Phase IV, scheduled to begin April 1, 2010, has been substantially revised and now covers the following HTSUS headings.

  • 4421 (other articles of wood)
  • 6602 (walking sticks, whips, crops)
  • 8201 (hand tools)
  • 9201 (pianos)
  • 9202 (other stringed instruments)
  • 9302 (revolvers and pistols)
  • 9305.10.20 (parts and accessories for revolvers and pistols)
  • 9401.69 (seats with wood frames)
  • 9504.20 (articles and accessories for billiards)
  • 9703 (sculptures)

Future Changes. USDA states that there will be no further additions to phases III or IV and that it intends to provide at least six months' notice to persons and industries affected by any future changes to facilitate compliance with the new requirements.

In addition, USDA is seeking comments on the following HTSUS headings currently under consideration for subsequent enforcement phases that would be scheduled to begin on or after Sept. 1, 2010.

  • 4405 (wood wool [excelsior])
  • 4410 (particle board)
  • 4411 (fiberboard of wood)
  • 4412 (plywood, including 4412.99.06 and 4412.99.57)
  • 4413 (densified wood)
  • 4415 (packing cases, boxes, crates, drums)
  • 4416 (casks, barrels, vats, tubs)
  • 4701 (mechanical wood pulp)
  • 4702 (chemical wood pulp, dissolving)
  • 4703 (chemical wood pulp, sulfate)
  • 4704 (chemical wood pulp, sulfite)
  • 4705 (combination mechanical and chemical)
  • 4801 (newsprint)
  • 4802 (uncoated writing paper)
  • 4803 (toilet or facial tissue stock)
  • 4804 (uncoated kraft paper)
  • 4805 (other uncoated paper and board)
  • 4806 (vegetable parchment, etc.)
  • 4807 (composite paper and board)
  • 4808 (corrugated paper and board)
  • 4809 (carbon paper)
  • 4810 (coated paper and board)
  • 4811 (paper coated, etc.)
  • 6601 (umbrellas)
  • 6603 (umbrella parts)
  • 9205 (wind musical instruments)
  • 9401 (seats)
  • 9403.30 (wooden office furniture)
  • 9403.40 (wooden kitchen furniture)
  • 9403.50 (wooden bedroom furniture)
  • 9403.60 (other wooden furniture)
  • 9403.81 (furniture of cane, osier, bamboo, rattan or similar materials)
  • 9504 (articles for arcade, table or parlor games)

Finally, USDA continues to consider the applicability of the import declaration requirement to other products not included in the revised phase–in schedule or listed above and seeks comment on how this requirement should be enforced as to additional goods classified under the following HTSUS chapters.

  • chapter 48 (paper and articles of)
  • chapter 82 (tools, implements)
  • chapter 89 (ships, boats and floating structures)
  • chapter 93 (arms and ammunition)
  • chapter 94 (furniture, etc.)
  • chapter 95 (toys, games and sporting equipment)
  • chapter 96 (brooms, pencils, buttons)

Enforcement Delayed for Composite, Recycled, Reused Materials. Several commenters contended that identifying composite and recycled or reused materials (e.g., medium density fiberboard, particleboard and scrap wood) to the genus and/or species level would be difficult and in some cases impossible. In response to those comments, USDA has decided to further delay enforcement of the declaration requirement for these products so that it would begin no earlier than Sept. 1, 2010.

Use of Spp. to Identify Species of Imported Plants. Several commenters proposed that USDA allow for importers to provide only the genus name in circumstances where the individual species would be difficult to identify. USDA has responded by stating that in circumstances where the list of possible species in a particular product includes all species in a genus, it is acceptable to use "spp." following the genus name on the import declaration form. However, when reference to all possible species in a genus is not accurate (based on geographical or other factors), importers are expected to provide either the single genus and species or a specific list on the import declaration form of all possible species that may have been used to produce the plant product.

Source Document 1

Anne Middleton

Environmental Investigation Agency
P.O. Box 53343
Washington, DC 20009 USA
(p) 202.483.6621
(f) 202.986.8626
skype: anne.e.middleton

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