The Future of Lacey and Phase VII
APHIS is planning for the latest declaration requirement stage: Phase VII. In this phase, Lacey Act declarations will be required for all remaining plant product Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes that are not 100 percent composite materials. That means a wide array of imported products—such as furniture, additional essential oils, and cork—that have never before needed Lacey Act declarations will now need them. In 2023, APHIS will publish a list of affected HTS codes in the Federal Register and will require declarations for those product codes 6 months later.
What does this mean for importers? If you import items that contain plant products, and you do not currently file a Lacey Act declaration, you will likely need to file one once we implement Phase VII.
What can you do to prepare for Phase VII?
An imported product may include many different plant species. For example, furniture may include inlays of many species. Communicate with your suppliers to obtain plant information: The scientific name for each piece of plant product and where that plant was harvested.
APHIS will be conducting numerous outreach events over the year to inform importers about these upcoming requirements.
The Lacey Act combats illegal trafficking of wildlife, fish, and plants. The 2008 Farm Bill amended the Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. §§ 3371-3378) and extended its protections to a broad range of plants and plant products, making it unlawful to import into the United States any plant or plant product that was illegally harvested. It also makes it unlawful to import certain products without a declaration.
APHIS, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administer the Lacey Act. APHIS is responsible for collecting declarations for imported plants and plant products, and defining the scope of plant materials that require a declaration.
APHIS established through rulemaking a schedule for implementing the declaration requirement. Phases 1, 2, and 3 went into effect in 2009; phase 4 in 2010; and phase 5 in 2015. Phase 6 went into effect on October 1st, 2021. APHIS continues to evaluate products to include in future phases and will publish notices in the Federal Register to keep stakeholders and the public informed. A list of Federal Register publications are available on this website.
View product categories by HTS chapter that require a Lacey Act declaration.
Find out how to make changes after you submit a declaration.
Permits are required for articles listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and certain materials listed in Appendix II as well products from protected species under the Endangered Species Act. Please ensure you comply with regulations.
Under authority of the Plant Protection and Honeybee Acts, APHIS requires phytosanitary permits for the importation and transit of plants and plant products and the importation, transit, domestic movement (including interstate), and environmental release of organisms that impact plants. Visit APHIS’ Plant Import Information website to learn more about phytosanitary permits or call APHIS Permit Services toll free at (877) 770-5990.
To obtain or renew a phytosanitary permit, please use APHIS’ electronic permitting system APHIS eFile. This web-based tool will allow you to apply for a permit, check its status, and view it online. Please visit APHIS eFile to create an account and apply for a permit.
Use the email addresses below to ask questions or seek help with the following phytosanitary permit types:
Timber and Timber Product Import Permits: firstname.lastname@example.org
Controlled Import Permits: email@example.com
Plants or Seeds Import Permits: firstname.lastname@example.org
Protected Plant Permits: PPQCITESESAPermits@usda.gov
Pests, Live insects, Viruses, Bacteria, and Soil Inquiries: Pest.Permits@usda.govTransit Permits: PPQ.email@example.com
Subscribe to the APHIS Stakeholder Registry to receive information by email about APHIS’ enforcement of the Lacey Act declaration requirement.
Lacey Act Declaration Requirements