Washington, D.C., July 6, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public input regarding regulatory options for Lacey Act declaration requirements for composite plant materials. The Lacey Act—which combats trafficking in illegally taken wildlife, fish, or plants—requires an import declaration for certain plants and plant products. The declaration must include the scientific name of the plant, value of the importation, quantity of the plant, and name of the country where the plant was harvested. However, the Lacey Act does not address whether a declaration is required for composite plant materials. Composite plant materials are plant products and plant-based materials where the original plant material is broken down and re-composed or used as an extract in a manufacturing process, which may make it difficult or expensive to comply with declaration requirements.
APHIS is seeking public input on two possible approaches to an exception for composite plant materials. Specifically, we are asking for comment on the proposed definition of composite plant materials; an appropriate threshold for a proposed exception, and; whether either of these approaches is feasible, or if another alternative exists; among other things. The exception would not apply to protected plant species.
APHIS will carefully consider all comments received by September 7, 2018. This notice may be viewed in today’s Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/07/09/2018-14625/lacey-act-implementation-plan-composite-plant-materials. Beginning July 9, 2018, members of the public will be able to submit comments at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0017
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.