Lacey Act

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The Lacey Act (1900) prohibits the transportation of endangered species or banned animal and plant species into the United States and across state borders. The purpose of the act is to combat trafficking of illegal wildlife and plants. The Act originally focused on protecting domestic game species but was later expanded to include the importation of non-native species. The Act was expanded by the 2008 Farm Bill to a broader range of plants and plant products with a focus on combating illegal logging. As a result, importers of a wide range of plants and plant products must file declarations for their products.

The act is administered by the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of the Interior. The act is codified at 16 USC Chapter 53 (§§3371-3378) and 18 USC §42.

[Last updated in June of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]