Only the Importer of Record (IOR) or their agent (e.g., a customs broker) may sign the Lacey Act declaration form (PPQ Form 505) or file a declaration in the LAWGS data system or the Automated Commercial Environment. The IOR assumes responsibility for the accuracy and truthfulness of the information provided in the paper or electronic declaration. If a customs broker files a declaration on their client’s behalf, the broker must have Power of Attorney for the IOR and understand that they also assume legal responsibility for the accuracy and truthfulness of the information.
The 2008 Lacey Act amendments require the declaration “upon importation.” That means it is required at the time the shipment lands in the United States’ jurisdiction. Most importers file the required declaration information in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) using the Lacey Act Message Set at or before the shipment’s time of arrival. APHIS will also accept Lacey Act declarations at Cargo Release or when the Entry Summary 7501 is filed in ACE. APHIS may examine this issue further and propose different guidance in a future regulatory action.
If you did not submit a declaration when you should have, please contact our office to notify us of the error. Please be prepared to provide the number of declarations that were not filed, the associated entry number(s), and the date(s) the shipment(s) arrived in the United States. We will discuss options for resolving the matter, including retroactively filing the declaration(s) in our LAWGS system or by submitting a paper declaration form, depending on the circumstances surrounding the failure to file.
If you are filing customs information in ACE and are prompted to file a Lacey Act declaration for a product that is excluded from the declaration requirements, select the appropriate disclaim option in the APHIS Lacey Act Message Set:
The Importer of Record or their agent can electronically file the declaration using one of these options:
You do not need to mail a paper declaration if you submit it electronically. By choosing the electronic option and going paperless, you will not only be eco-friendly but also gain these important benefits:
If necessary, you can file a paper declaration using PPQ Form 505. Similar to the process for those filing a declaration in LAWGS, if you are filing customs information in ACE and are prompted to file a Lacey Act declaration, you must select the disclaim option (Disclaim D) in the APHIS Lacey Act Message Set to indicate you will file through another method and retrieve the entry number.
You cannot submit a blanket declaration.
The 2008 Lacey Act amendments do not impose any additional paperwork or reporting requirements beyond the import declaration. However, those responsible for transporting, purchasing, and processing regulated plant products entering the United States should know their supply chain. The Lacey Act requires, in an exercise of due care, that you know the plants or plant products were not taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of the Act or in a manner unlawful under any underlying law, treaty, or regulation. Those who either knowingly or unknowingly accept illegally taken and transported plant products, including timber, may be subject to penalties for violating the 2008 Lacey Act amendment.
APHIS collects, stores, and reviews declaration data to ensure compliance with the 2008 Amendment of the Lacey Act. We may also use the data to track national import activities and anticipate future market trends. We may share the data with other government agencies to assist in the enforcement of the Lacey Act.