The Lacey Act amendments provide, among other things, that importers submit a declaration at the time of importation for certain plants and plant products. The declaration requirements of the Act become effective on December 15, 2008. We previously provided the declaration form to members and recommend that, until the definition of “common cultivars” is determined through a separate rulemaking that companies fill out the form. Unfortunately, there is not a list of plants, seeds, etc. that should be declared so members will have to use their best judgment.
FMA is concerned that the information proposed to be collected would contribute little to the intended purpose of the legislation -- to prevent illegal logging and associated trade of other wild plants which face the threat of illegal harvesting. We believe the amendments are overreaching and could have a very significant, albeit perhaps unintended impact the use of plants not threatened by illegal harvesting but used extensively as the basis for fragrance formulations.
The key will be a separate rulemaking to define “common cultivars” and “common food products.” FMA intends to submit comments on that rulemaking to ensure that APHIS establishes a narrow and clearly defined scope of products subject to the new import declaration.
On December 19, 2008, FMA representatives will join members of the Lacey Act amendments coalition in a meeting with Cindy Smith, the APHIS Administrator, to express our concerns with the declaration requirements and the potential impact of the amendments on the fragrance industry.