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What is the Lacey Act?

The Lacey Act is a United States law that bans the trafficking of illegal wildlife, fish, plants and other natural resources in or out of the United States.

Under this act, it is against the law to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase any of the aforementioned products and wildlife if they are taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of U.S. or Indian law or in interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken, possessed, or sold in violation of State or foreign law.

In accordance with the law, all fish, wildlife and their parts or products, and plants protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and those protected by State law, are covered. Commercial guiding and outfitting are considered to be a sale under the provisions of this act.

The Lacey Act was amended in 2008 to include plants and their products, such as timber and paper. This landmark legislation is the world’s first to ban trade in illegally sourced wood products. Additionally, the law enforces civil and criminal penalties for the illegal trade of animals and plants. The goal of the Lacey Act is to protect international and domestic law and prevent the spread of invasive, or non-native species.

Need help? Reach out to one of our experts to make sure you don’t miss any important documents in the import process.


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