Wednesday, 25 May 2016 13:30

Staying Compliant Importing Hardwood Lumber

Ever since 2008, the importation of hardwood lumber into the United States has been subject to the regulations of the Lacey Act.  The Lacey Act makes it unlawful to import, acquire take possession of and transport illegally harvested lumber. Since this covers the spectrum or rules and regulations from countries all around the world, it is critical that importers stay informed and current on recent developments and resources available in the market place. One of the resources available to companies is the Wood Trade Compliance Training and Due Diligence Tools Course sponsored by the IWPA.

Dealing with a hardwood lumber supplier that invests in the tools and resources needed to stay compliant on the importing of hardwood lumber is critical for distributors and companies that manufacturewith hardwoods. It is not just the importer on record that is held to the standards of the Lacey Act. This regulation applies to anyone in the supply chain of its use. We recommend that companies also apply their own due diligence in ensuring that they are working with hardwood lumber importers that adhere to the rules and regulations or they could be held liable as well. In our industry there is a great deal of trust placed between the importer and the customer purchasing the hardwood lumber. Customers need to know and trust that their supplier is dealing with reputable harvesters and doing everything they need to do to properly import lumber.

lacey act complianceAt Baillie, we take compliance with the Lacey Act very seriously. We do everything we can to ensure we are doing the due diligence necessary to adhere to the regulation.  We deal with reputable suppliers in Africa, Central and South America and we recently had four employees attend compliance training including representatives of our purchasing group, logistics department and senior management team.  The course helped give clarity to the critical areas of governments expectation of Lacey Act compliance.  I came away satisfied that our understanding and actions are and have been in compliance.  However, we learned of a few additional steps that will further our current efforts toward due diligence.   We expect to take what we learned and improve our processes and add additional employees to our compliance process.

If you use imported hardwood lumber, consider analyzing how your supplier addresses compliance. Ask the tough questions and let us know if we can help you in any way.

Jesper Bach
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