Update: Lacey ACT Phase VII Has Been Delayed Until Early 2024

Posted on Dec 6

Article by Rick Walker, Vice President – TradeInsights, LCB/CCS

Erin Otto with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Lacey Act team advised during a recent webinar hosted by the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) that implementation of Phase VII of the Lacey Act would be delayed until early 2024, which will also delay the subsequent 6-month countdown until the new declaration requirements are enforced. APHIS had intended to issue a Federal Notice by the end of 2023 listing the HTS codes that would require Lacey Act declarations under Phase VII, but due to circumstances beyond their control must delay the process until 2024. APHIS now expects the notice to be issued by February, but it could be even later than that.

Lacey Act phase VII will cover all non-composite plant products that remain untouched by Lacey Act requirements, said Otto, who called it a “junk drawer” of HTS codes. “It’s going to include all sorts of random stuff,” she said. “Just think about everything in your house or garage or yard that may contain a plant or plant product.” Among products Otto mentioned during the webinar as covered in phase VII are wicker baskets, furniture, Christmas ornaments, pencils, sporting goods, lamps, and kitchenware. Otto and the rest of the four-person APHIS Lacey Act team “spent all summer combing through the HTS codes,” looking at thousands of them and “trying to pick out the ones that are remaining that contain plant material that is not 100% composite,” she said. Otto said they ended up identifying about 200 HTS codes.

Because so many additional products may be added in Phase VII, APHIS is telling importers to review their products and get the information now so that Lacey Act declarations are ready to be filled out when the rules are finally in place.

We will continue to monitor this and provide updates as needed.

Please contact your V. Alexander account team, or you may also contact our Trade Compliance team at tradeinsights@valexander.com with any questions.