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Instructions for Requesting a New Species Grouping

Requesting a New Species Grouping

As APHIS continues to further streamline the declaration process, APHIS has developed a process for interested parties to request the creation of additional Species Groupings.

Requests for additional Species Groupings should be submitted to APHIS, after which they will enter the approval process and be reviewed for the commercial, economic and technical feasibility as well as other considerations. Once a determination has been made, the request will be designated APPROVED, NOT APPROVED, or NOT APPROVED DUE TO INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION. Upon approval the new species group will be added to the Lacey Act Guidance documentation and posted on the APHIS website. APHIS will also notify Trade of new Species Groupings through APHIS Stakeholder Registry Notices.

Species Groups are meant to facilitate the declaration of small groups of similar plant species which are: commonly used in trade, not easily distinguished one from another, and commonly traded together in individual shipments. A Species Group cannot be made to represent an entire plant Genus or Family. Use of a Species Group does not eliminate the importer’s need to know the species that are being imported nor does it remove the Lacey Act due care requirements; it merely serves to streamline the reporting of information for the declaration process.

In order to be considered for approval, a request must contain the following:

  • The proposed Species Grouping name (Example: SPF for "Spruce, Pine, and Fir"). This should be an actual commercially used trade name as industry shorthand.
  • The list of scientific names associated with this Species Grouping. This should be a finite listing of each of the applicable genus and species. Lists comprised only of genus and/or family names will not be accepted.
  • The country/countries where each of these species is grown. Identify in which country/countries wild harvest or plantation harvest occurs for each species listed.
  • An explanation of how this Species Grouping name is used in trade, including a full explanation regarding the types and volumes of trade, as well as why the designation is used.
  • An explanation of why the similarities in this group would make identifying the particular species in any individual shipment difficult, costly, and/or time consuming.

Please submit all requests for new Species Groups to  with the Subject Line: "Request for Approval of New Species Grouping."

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