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The USDA Fights Illegally Harvested Plants

For help with any import logistics question or on the Lacey Act contact the staff at Phil Patterson, Inc. and get the guidance you need to comply.

The Lacey Act makes it illegal to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, any plant—with limited exceptions—to be taken or traded in violation of domestic or international laws.

The Act extends the statute’s reach to include a broader range of plants and plant products, including timber deriving from illegally harvested plants.

The Act now requires an import declaration for plants that includes the scientific name of any plant, a description of the value, quantity, and the name of the country from where the plant was taken. If a plant species or country of origin cannot be determined, the plant declaration must include a list of possible plant species found in the product or a list of possible countries from which the plant originated.

The USDA, APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), and the other Federal agencies involved in enforcing the provisions in the Act are working together to phase in enforcement of the declaration. For more information on the Lacey Act go to: or