|October 21, 2010||Contact: Jessica Franken
Government Affairs Consultant
SMART Joins Lacey Act Coalition Meeting
SMART joined a number of industry groups Sept. 20 in meeting with U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) officials to learn more about recently proposed definitions for exemptions from import declaration requirements included in the Lacey Act.
The 2008 farm bill expanded Lacey Act protections to a broader range of plant species to make it unlawful to trade wood products or other plants taken in violation of the relevant laws of either the United States or a foreign country. As amended, the Lacey Act makes it illegal to import certain plants and plant products without an import declaration. Enforcement of the declaration requirement is being phased-in by APHIS.
On Aug. 4, APHIS proposed and requested public input on definitions for the terms "common cultivar" and "common food crop" that are excluded from Lacey Act import declaration requirements. The comment period closed Oct. 4, with industry groups expressing concerns about ambiguities in the proposed definitions and calling upon officials to develop a specific list of products to be included under these descriptions.
As it turns out, APHIS and the other agencies working on Lacey are also struggling with the appropriate scope of these exclusions, the APHIS official told SMART and the other groups, and have yet to develop a product list or reach an internal consensus on whether things like bamboo and rayon will qualify for the exemption.
APHIS and the other agencies are currently drafting a statutorily-required report to Congress on the status of the Lacey Act implementation. That report will detail numerous implementation challenges and will recommend either legislative or administrative fixes.
To learn more about the Lacey Act, sign up for updates and more, visit: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/lacey_act/index.shtml
Secondary Materials And Recycled Textile (SMART) Association
As an international trade association, SMART strengthens the economic opportunities of our diverse membership by promoting the interdependence of our industry segments and providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. Since 1932, SMART has been at the forefront of recycling. SMART members use and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial laundries and nonwoven, off spec material, new mill ends and paper from around the world. SMART member companies create thousands of jobs worldwide. Our members prove each day that you can make money by being socially responsible. For more on SMART, visit our website, www.smartasn.org.