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Third Consensus Statement: Lacey Act, August 2011

 August 29, 2011

STATEMENT BY IMPORTERS, NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, AND
DOMESTIC PRODUCERS IN RESPONSE TO THE JUNE 30TH, 2011 FEDERAL
REGISTER NOTICE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF REVISED LACEY ACT PROVISIONS
 
Introduction
Our organizations have undertaken extensive discussions about de minimis
and composites provisions for the Lacey Act declaration, as outlined in the June 30th
federal register. We have also revisited our previous statements on date of
manufacture and species groupings. We continue to have productive conversations
on these issues, and we hope to be able to provide additional consensus views in
early 2012.
 
De Minimis
We agree in principle that the law’s intent is not inconsistent with a de
minimis exemption provision for products that contain a minimal amount of plant
material (not of conservation concern1) in otherwise non-plant products. However,
the nature and structure for such a mechanism requires further examination.
We believe that any de minimis exemption needs to: (1) fulfill the
environmental purpose of the Lacey Act amendments, (2) help to reduce any
unnecessary burden on industry, and (3) be effective, practical and feasible to
implement. We continue to discuss the best means to measure de minimis (whether
by volume, weight, or value, or some combination thereof). We recognize the need
for flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of scenarios while also ensuring that a
de minimis exception does not undermine the intent of the law. The introduction of
a de minimis exception without a thorough exploration of options and possible
unintended consequences is unwise.
 
Composites
On composite products and materials, our organizations have found that
further education and information exchange is necessary on the feasibility and
practicality of declaring genus, species and country of harvest. We believe more
time is necessary to further discuss this issue.
1 A de mimimis exception should not apply to products containing plant material from species of
conservation concern that are listed in an appendix to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 27 UST 1087; TIAS 8249); as an endangered or
threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); or pursuant to
any State law that provides for the conservation of species that are indigenous to the State and are
threatened with extinction.
 
Date of Manufacture and Species Groupings
After reviewing the comments provided in our July 2009 and June 2010
consensus statements, which have been submitted previously, we believe that our
comments on date of manufacture and species groupings are still pertinent and
applicable. We have previously suggested that possible groupings be established
using the database of the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, and we would direct you
to our previous statements for any additional information on our consensus
position.
 
December 2011 Symposium
We plan to work with the Forest Legality Alliance (www.forestlegality.org) to
organize a workshop symposium on these and other topics for industry, NGOs and
U.S. government representatives in December 2011, in order to exchange and
discuss technical information under the Lacey Act. We will then strive to provide
additional feedback as a result of this gathering in early 2012.
 
SIGNED BY
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
American Association of Exporters and Importers
American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA)
American Forest & Paper Association
The American Home Furnishings Alliance
U.S. Business Alliance for Customs Modernization
Environmental Investigation Agency
Fashion Accessories Shippers Association (FASA)
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Hardwood Federation
The Hosiery Association
International Wood Products Association
National Association of Manufacturers
National Council of Textile Organizations
National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America
National Retail Federation
Promotional Products Association International
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Travel Goods Association (TGA)
World Wildlife Fund
 
 
1 A de mimimis exception should not apply to products containing plant material from species of
conservation concern that are listed in an appendix to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 27 UST 1087; TIAS 8249); as an endangered or
threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); or pursuant to
any State law that provides for the conservation of species that are indigenous to the State and are
threatened with extinction.

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