Factsheet: U.S. Lacey Act

U.S. Lacey Act

Key Information
Full name of Instrument & Measure (English): 
U.S. Lacey Act for wildlife preservation and forest conservation
Description: 
SEC. 8204. Prevention of illegal logging practices of the H. R. 6124 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008: originally passed in 1900, the U.S. Lacey Act makes it a federal crime to poach game in one state with the purpose of selling the bounty in another. Introduced in the House of Representatives by Iowa Congressman John Lacey over a century ago, the Lacey Act has been revised several times turning it into one of the broadest and most comprehensive policies in the federal arsenal designed to combat wildlife crime. On May 22, 2008, the U.S. Congress approved a new amendment to the Lacey Act, making the policy capable of combating both wildlife crime and illegal logging. This has created dramatic changes in the still heavily unregulated global timber industry and led to systemic shifts in the practices of importers, manufacturers, and timber companies within both the U.S. and around the world. The United States, the world’s largest consumer of wood products, is a central player in driving the trade in illegally sourced timber. It has been estimated that U.S. wood consumption of high-risk timber and wood products (not including pulp and paper) was as high as 10% of annual wood imports - $3.8 billion - in 2006. Until 2008, even the most blatantly stolen timber was “legal” upon reaching American shores due to the lack of laws preventing the import and sale of illegal wood. There are two major components to the plant amendments: a ban on trading plants or plant products harvested in violation of the law; and a requirement to declare the scientific name, value, quantity, and country of harvest origin for some products.
Goal/Aim: 
prevent illegal logging and other illegal plant trade on worldwide level (for wood imports to the US).

Sector/Topic targeted:

Responsible Authority: 
United States Department of Agriculture

Status:

Trade Relevance: 
Sustainability and legality of biomass (for imports to the US)
Year Instrument & Measure Started: 
1900
Year Last Instrument & Measure was last Amended: 
2008