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Wisdom from our Founding Fathers - Patrick Henry
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."
"We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature has placed in our power... the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."
"Unite liberality with a just frugality; always reserve something for the hand of charity; and never let your door be closed to the voice of suffering humanity."
“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason toward my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”
“It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”
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Lacey Act New Requirements Clarified
Many clients have seen information that there are new declaration requirements for wood packaging material (WPM) under the Lacey Act starting October 1st. What does this mean for TP's WPM clients?
According to the USDA "The Lacey Act combats illegal trafficking of wildlife, fish, and plants. The 2008 Farm Bill amended the Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. §§ 3371-3378) and extended its protections to a broad range of plants and plant products, making it unlawful to import into the United States any plant or plant product that was illegally harvested." There are many items that fall under this act including imported Wood Packaging Material (WPM). Phase 6 goes into effect on October 1st and will require any WPM coming into the U.S. as a commodity to have a declaration stating the following:
This information is to ensure that the wood used to manufacture the WPM has not been illegally harvested in the country of origin.
It is important to note that the Lacey Act does not apply to WPM used to support, protect, or carry another item, unless the wood packaging material itself is the item being imported as a product.
The bottom line is that the October 1st requirements will not affect U.S. manufacturers of wood packaging material since the act only applies to imported WPM.
For imported used pallets, APHIS will only require a declaration for new products that are formally entering the United States. The declaration requirement will not apply to used, recycled, or reclaimed pallets or to pallets, empty or under load, that are used to carry goods imported into the United States.
As an additional note for companies that import WPM into the U.S., U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who checks shipments as they arrive goes further and states, “…the Lacey Act was amended to make it illegal to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate foreign commerce, and plant-with limited exceptions-to be traded in violation of domestic or international law.” Companies importing WPM from other countries are responsible for ensuring the proper documentation is in place for WPM they receive. Due care must be used to make certain that all documentation is factual because the importer of record will be held accountable if the documentation is later determined to be inaccurate.
A New Chinese Protocol for Pinewood Nematode?
Recently we have gotten several emails from clients who received a notification that mentioned a testing mandate and recommended the use of "non-wooden pallets". The question became whether this was directly from China or something else. This concerning notification reads as follows:
"Dear Valued Export Customer,
Effective Friday August 13, 2021, Chinese Customs applied stricter wood packaging regulations for shipments importing into China. With recent findings of living bacteria and insects, China Customs has increased their inspection rate and testing requirements for wood packaging.
Any shipments importing to China on wood pallets or wood packaging are subject to the new testing. This method takes 1-2 weeks and will cut a small, 6-8" piece of wood from the pallet for testing. To ensure the stability of the pallet/wood packaging, Chinese Customs is recommending that an extra piece (6-8") be cut and nailed to the pallet.
With this new mandate, we foresee two issues.
That being said, we suggest utilizing non-wooden pallets for all shipments moving to China whenever feasible. If you are unable to provide non-wooden pallets, please feel free to check with your customer service representative. We will be happy to provide you with a repacking solution prior to departure. As always, do not hesitate to ask if you have questions or concerns."
TP discussed this with Tyrone Jones, Trade Director for Global Forestry Products, with the USDA and he advised there has been no recommendation from China to utilize non-wood pallets. However, the testing mandate is allowed as the sovereignty of nations gives them the authority to inspect in any manner they feel is needed to protect their country. This protocol is to specifically target Pinewood Nematode(PWN). While China has been testing for PWN since 2008, there is a concern that this is a new protocol that has been adopted for the U.S. and six other countries who have been identified as having PWN.
After some further investigation and with the help of the NWPCA, it appears that the testing mandate and recommendation may be related to one particular corporation and not something China is imposing on the industry in general. If this issue develops to a greater degree, we will keep our clients informed of these further developments through this newsletter.