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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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What is meant by the term ‘due care’?

The Lacey Act, as amended, makes it a crime to traffic in plants or plant products when, in the exercise of due care, the person should know that the plant or plant product was taken, possessed, transported or sold illegally. “Due” care is a long-standing legal principle that means the degree of care at which a reasonably prudent person would take under the same or similar circumstances. The Lacey Act does not define nor mandate any requirements to constitute due care. U.S. importers have discretion to determine how to best verify the legitimacy of their supply chain going back to where the plant material was taken, and the legality of transactions thereafter, and to abide by plant protection and conservation laws in the U.S. and abroad.

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