The 2008 farm bill amended the nations oldest environmental enforcement bill protecting endangered species. The new amendment now is trying to stop the trade of endangered trees. In doing so they are asking all importers of wooden items to report the genus, species and harvesting locations of every wooden thing imported into the US. They are also making it then a crime to declare falsely the species of wood being imported.
It is unclear if the intention is to place a large burden on trade or just to add additional crimes to prosecute importers of endangered species. I believe the intention is solely the latter but that they succeed in accomplishing both. They are phasing in different wood products. April 1st 2010 will be the next phase in date that will incorporate many new products. Other products will also be incorporated. Below is the list of goods and their phase in date:
Phase II April 1st 2009
4401 Fuel Wood
4403 Hoopwood, Pole, Piles and Stakes
4406 Railway or Tramway Sleepers
4407 Wood Sawn or chipped
4408 Sheets for veneer
4409 Wood continuously shaped
4417 Tools, tool handles, broom handles
4418 Builder joinery and carpentry of wood
Phase III October 1st 2010
4402 Wood charcoal
4412 Plywood veneered panels (except 44129906 and 44129957)
4414 Wooden frames
4419 Tableware, Kitchenware
4420 Wood marquetry, caskets, statutes.
Phase IV April 1st 2009
4421 Other articles of wood
6602 Umbrellas, Walking sticks, Riding crops.
8201 Hand tools
9202 Stringed instruments
9302 Revolver handles
9305 Pistols parts
940169 Seats, Chairs.
950420 Pool cues, and Billiard accessories.
9703 Wooded art work, and Wooden sculptures
We are sending this out now due to the additions coming up in April. Now would be the time to find out from your suppliers the particular species of wood they use and where they get it if from. We foresee this might take some time to find out where actually the wood was harvested from. For finished goods the wood is bought from lumber suppliers, who buy from saw mills, who buy from loggers, plus any number of distributors along the way.
So we advise importers to begin finding this information out now. We will all have to brush up on our taxonomy. The government requires the scientific name and not familiar name. The USDA states over and over again that they will need both the genus and the species. They are aware that many times it is impossible to know the exact species in a genus. However, they expect importers to state all possible species that the item maybe made from.
The USDA states in cases where it is impossible to state the exact species it is not acceptable to state all possible species of the genus. The importer must state each individual species which the wood might possible belong to, based on harvest location, and species in that location. The importer must know and state all the possible species individually. So, the importer must state the genus and if there are multiple species that the wood was derived from each individual species that the wood may belong to.
The declaration may be made on the forms provided by the USDA. The form is call the PPQ form 505. We are attaching the form for you to look at, or it can be found at the USDA web site: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/lacey_act/downloads/declarationform.pdf. We also can file these forms electronically with the entries. But to file them for you we will need the above information. You may send it to us separately or on the invoices suppled by your supplier.
Any false declaration will be punishable by criminal statutes and potential fines. The importer is responsible for any information supplied to the broker. There will be more products added to the list mentioned above. The final implantation of the full list is set to take place by August 31st 2010. It is likely that there will be a new list sometime between now and February and we will be keeping an eye out for. The full list of products will likely include as follows:
4405 Wood wool
4410 Particle board
4412 Plywood including 44129906 and 44129957
4413 Densified wood
4415 Packing cases boxes crates and drums
4416 Casks Barrels vats tubs
4701 Mechanical wood pulp
4702 Chemical wood pulp, dissolving
4703 Chemical wood pulp, sulfate
4704 Chemical wood pulp, sulfite
4705 Combination chemical and mechanical wood pulp.
4802 Uncoated writing paper
4803 Toilet or facial tissues
4805 Other uncoated paper
4806 Vegetable parchment
4807 Composite paper and board
4808 Corrugated paper and board
4809 Carbon paper
4810 Coated paper and paper board
4811 Paper coated
6603 Umbrella parts
9205 Wind instruments
9401 All seats
990330 Wooden office furniture
940340 Wooden kitchen furniture
940350 Wooden bedroom furniture
940360 Other wooden furniture
940381 Furniture of, cane, osier, bamboo, rattan, or similar materials
9504 Articles for arcade, table, or parlor games. (Parlor???)
As mentioned before we will can file this electronically, but we will need the information on the invoice or provided for us separately or in the form of the deceleration. We will monitor the new products and let you know when we find out about them. It is important for imports of the new Phase IV products to begin getting the species, genus and harvest information as soon as possible. Or require your suppliers to begin putting the information on the invoices.