WASHINGTON, D.C. – Right now, the Lacey Act states that sporting goods are exempt from the new reporting requirements on wood and plant content in imported products. That is now being challenged. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), non-governmental organizations and environmental groups are committed to broadening the reporting requirement to include sporting goods. These groups point out that to discourage illegal harvesting, all products with wood and plant content must declare the genus, species and country of origin.
“We at SGMA are working to keep the current sporting goods exemption which exists with the Lacey Act, but the new environment in Washington, D.C. is less favorable than in previous years,” said Bill Sells, SGMA’s vice president of government relations.
To prevent products with illegally harvested content from entering the U.S., the Lacey Act was amended last year to require manufacturers of imported products containing wood and plant material to provide the genus, species and country of origin of the wood or plant. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started a phased-in implementation of this new reporting requirement earlier this year using Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) chapters to break down products by category. Currently Chapter 95, which covers toys and sporting goods, is exempt from the new reporting requirements.
“The task for SGMA and the sporting goods industry is how to distinguish the difference between sporting goods products made exclusively or predominantly of wood from other wood products covered under the Lacey Act, such as furniture,” noted Sells. “Sporting goods made of composite wood are not an issue.”
SGMA will continue its efforts to preserve the sporting goods exemption from this new reporting requirement. However, given the atmosphere in Washington, D.C. SGMA will also prepare a back-up plan to limit the industry’s exposure should CBP indicate a change in position.
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy. More information about SGMA membership and SGMA’s National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com
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