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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Wood Packaging Materials (i.e. shipping containers, cases, crates, drums, and pallets)

Question: Do I need to file a Lacey declaration to import all wood packaging materials in Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) 4415, including shipping containers, cases, boxes, crates, drums, and pallets? 

Effective October 1, 2021, importers are required to file a Lacey declaration for new wooden products in HTSUS 4415 that are formally entering the United States as merchandise. The Lacey Act provides an exception to the plant import declaration requirement for 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)).  In addition, APHIS does not require U.S. importers to file a Lacey declaration for used, recycled, and reclaimed wooden products in HTSUS 4415, whether empty or under load, that are used to carry goods imported into the United States.

Question: How do I disclaim wooden products in HTSUS 4415 that are used exclusively as packaging material to support, protect, or carry another item? 

The Lacey Act does not apply to plant products used exclusively as packaging material to support, protect, or carry another item, unless the packaging material itself is the item being imported. However, when filing import documents in ACE for any products in tariff provision 4415, the Lacey message set will prompt you to file a declaration. For these products, you can apply disclaimer code “A” to fulfill the Lacey message set requirements.

Question: How do I disclaim used, recycled, and reclaimed wooden products in HTSUS 4415 that do not require a Lacey declaration?

APHIS does not require importers to file a Lacey import declaration for used, recycled, or reclaimed wooden products in tariff provision 4415. However, when filing import documents in ACE for any products in tariff provision 4415, the Lacey message set will prompt you to file a declaration. For these products, you can apply disclaimer code “B” to fulfill the Lacey message set requirements.

APHIS Lacey message set application of disclaimers for products in Harmonized Tariff Schedule 4415

Data not provided because: Data Element: Disclaimer Code

Plant products used exclusively as packaging material to support, protect, or carry another item. For example, this would apply to a wooden pallet that is being used to carry 200 cases of shoes.

This does not apply when the packaging material itself is the item being imported into the United States.

Apply “A” – Product not regulated by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Used, recycled, or reclaimed packaging material, whether empty or under load, that are used to carry goods imported into the United States.

Apply “B” – Data is not required per agency guidance.

Question: What is the difference between Disclaimer Codes and Special Use Designations?

Importers can use Disclaimer Codes for products, when the APHIS Lacey message set flags the tariff codes but the product does not require an ACE filing of the Lacey Act declaration data. This includes products that are not regulated by APHIS, not required per APHIS guidance, already filed through LAWGS or paper method, or for de minimis exemptions. 

Importers can use Special Use Designations (SUD) to provide descriptions of the plant material in products that require a Lacey declaration. They can use the applicable SUD when it is not possible to provide the scientific names (genus/species). The proper use of a SUD in a Lacey Act declaration fulfills the requirements of the Lacey Act regarding the declaration of the scientific names. A declaration which uses a SUD to identify the scientific names must include all other information required by the Lacey Act.

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