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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Lacey Act

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 is pending. 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. 

Complying with the Lacey Act Declaration Requirement

Additional APHIS Import Requirements for Wood Products

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.

If you have questions regarding CITES and endangered species documentation please refer to the APHIS CITES (Endangered Plant Species) website and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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 ePermits. This web-based tool will allow you to apply for a permit, check its status, and view it online. Please visit the Register for ePermits web page 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: wood.permits@usda.gov

Controlled Import Permits: controlled.import.permits@aphis.usda.gov

Plants or Seeds Import Permits: plantsforplantingpermits@usda.gov

Protected Plant Permits: PPQCITESESAPermits@usda.gov

Pests, Live insects, Viruses, Bacteria, and Soil Inquiries: Pest.Permits@usda.gov

Transit Permits: PPQ.transit.permits@usda.gov

Visit APHIS’ Wooden Handicrafts web page for requirements for importing wooden handicrafts from China.

Stay Up To Date

Subscribe to the APHIS Stakeholder Registry to receive information by email about APHIS’ enforcement of the Lacey Act declaration requirement.

Questions?

Lacey Act Declaration Requirements
Email:Lacey.Act.Declaration@usda.gov

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