The amendments make it unlawful to ‘import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce’ any plant that was ‘taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State’. The applicable legislation encompasses that relating to the harvest of plants, payment of taxes and fees, and their export. An import declaration requirement was also introduced, under which the scientific name, value, quantity and country of origin of the timber imported must be stated, although there are some exceptions. The Lacey Act does not include a requirement for due diligence; however, this is explicitly encouraged since the exercise of ‘due care’ can be used as part of the defence in cases of infringement of this law.
There have been a number of enforcement actions under the Lacey Act since 2008, most notably against Gibson Guitars, between 2009 and 2012 (The Bureau of National Affairs, 2011; The Wall Street Journal, 2012), and Lumber Liquidators, in 2015 (EIA, 2015).