Lacey Act

Last Modified: March 25, 2024

Coming Soon: Phase VII Declaration Implementation

What does this mean for importers? If you import items that contain plant products, and you do not currently file a Lacey Act declaration, you will likely need to file one once we implement Phase VII. 

APHIS is planning for the latest declaration requirement stage: Phase VII. In this phase, Lacey Act declarations will be required for all remaining plant product Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes that are not 100 percent composite materials. That means a wide array of imported products—such as furniture, additional essential oils, and cork—that have never before needed Lacey Act declarations will now need them. In 2023, APHIS will publish a list of affected HTS codes in the Federal Register and will require declarations for those product codes 6 months later. Read on to learn how you can prepare.

Know Your Supply Chain for Each Piece of Plant Material in the Product

  • An imported product may include many different plant species. For example, furniture may include inlays of many species. Communicate with your suppliers to obtain plant information: The scientific name for each piece of plant product and where that plant was harvested.

Learn How to File a Declaration

Get Answers to Your Questions 

Stay Connected

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 went into effect on October 1st, 2021. 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 APHIS eFile. This web-based tool will allow you to apply for a permit, check its status, and view it online. Please visit APHIS eFile 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:

Controlled Import Permits:

Plants or Seeds Import Permits:

Protected Plant Permits:

Pests, Live insects, Viruses, Bacteria, and Soil Inquiries:

Transit Permits:

Use the Agricultural Commodity Import Requirements (ACIR) database to look up 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.


Lacey Act Declaration Requirements