Why and How to fill out Lacey Act Forms

Presenters: Robyn Sullivan & Brianna Goldberg

February 27, 2024


Brought to you by:

Alliance International

The Violin Society of America

Celebrating Women Luthiers International Exhibit

Forms from February 27, 2024 Training:

The VSA holds the ethos of conservation and ethical sourcing as core values with regards to the  natural materials we depend on for our livelihoods. That conviction extends as a commitment to our members to keep them well informed of changes to the laws that govern our trade.

As the effects of recent restrictions on the trade of Pernambuco wood ripple through the trade and our shops, we are reminded that laws can and do change without much fanfare. Enforcement often comes down to customs agents on the ground, and can be uneven. One might be singled out for inspection at one port of entry but not another, for example. Because the VSA is committed to producing the highest quality convention and competition, we want our current and prospective members to be aware and compliant of these changes. As ever, ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense of breaking the law.

The US law that regulates the import and export of plant and animal based products is enforced through the Lacey Act and administered by the USDA. New requirements require a declaration form be submitted that names all of the plant and animal-based materials’ species and origin.

These requirements extend to every importer, commercial or otherwise. Importers have been jumping through these hoops for years. The change in the law specifically adds musical instruments and their accessories to the list of products subject to control.

To remain compliant with the law, The VSA will require Lacey Act declarations with all instruments and bows submitted through customs to the competition as well as the New Instrument Exhibit at 2024 VSA and beyond. This declaration will accompany the carnet, or EU-required customs declaration.

Chris Ulbricht