Summary

To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to limit the application of that Act with respect to plants and plant products that were imported before the effective... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Jun 7, 2012, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to limit the application of that Act with respect to plants and plant products that were imported before the effective date of amendments to that Act enacted in 2008, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Retailers and Entertainers Lacey Implementation and Enforcement Fairness Act'' or the ``RELIEF Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following: (1) Amendments to the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 were enacted as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-246). (2) The 2008 amendments were intended to level the playing field for American businesses engaged in the responsible harvest, shipment, manufacture, and trade of plants and plant products whose prices had been undercut by a black market fueled by irresponsible and illegal taking of protected plants around the globe. (3) The 2008 amendments were overly broad and their enforcement as enacted could criminalize actions of a good- faith owner, purchaser, or retailer of a plant or plant product, subjecting them to penalties that include forfeiture, fines, and imprisonment. (4) Sanctions for violating the 2008 amendments should be proportional to the act in violation. An individual who is not in the commercial shipping business should not be held to the same standard of compliance under that Act. (5) Individuals fear that they risk incurring...

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State: CA

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District: 1st

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Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

Orchestral groups of all budget sizes and from all regions of the country perform domestically for U.S. audiences and travel abroad to present their music to the world. The Lacey Act, which was first enacted in 1900, was amended in 2008 making it unlawful to import, transport, or sell products derived from illegally harvested plants. The scope of the 2008 amendment included musical instruments made of wood or any other plant materials and applies to individual musicians who possess or travel with their personal instruments for the purpose of performing. While we are not aware of individuals being subjected to criminal prosecution or forfeiture of instruments, the Lacey Act does not specify protection for owners of musical instruments. Though federal agencies have issued statements clarifying that individual musicians will not be the subject of enforcement, the underlying law must be changed to guarantee relief from potential unintended consequences of the Lacey Act. Passage of the RELIEF Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Cooper (TN) would be an important step toward protecting musicians https://secure3.convio.net/paa/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=365

Supports. (Source: http://www.namm.org/public-affairs/articles/contact-your-member-congress-now-support-hr-3210-r)

Organizations Opposing

As you know, another high-profile raid of the politicallyconnected Gibson Guitar company, on the grounds they were once again violating the Lacey Act, has led some of their allies in Congress to try to gut the Act. The Act, as recently amended, protects against illegal logging, protecting U.S. jobs, growing the global market for sustainably harvested U.S. wood, and helps conserve rare global resources. The attempts to amend the Act now are unnecessary and misguided, and HF strongly opposes the misnamed "U.S. Relief Act" introduced by Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN), and the "FOCUS Act" introduced by Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA). Both bills will substantially weaken the Lacey Act and its important role to decrease illegal logging. Illegal logging depresses global wood prices, and can lead to job losses here in the U.S. http://www.hardwoodfederation.net/main/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=226&Itemid=33


Hardwood Federation
3 years ago

We do not support H.R. 3210 in its current form and are concerned that it sidesteps the 6 administrative review process set out in the original 2008 amendments. The Secretary of Agriculture was mandated to produce a report to Congress within two years of the enactment of the amendments. That report was intended to provide factual information on the implementation and enforcement of the declaration requirement and address some of the questions before the committee today. Without this report, Congress and the business community do not have a common set of information on which to make decisions about whether the implementation issues can be addressed administratively or require legislative changes. The net effect of legislation without this information may be to undermine the goals of the 2008 amendments. We believe H.R. 3210 could diminish the effectiveness of the 2008 Lacey Act Amendments. http://afandpa.org/temp/AFPA_Lacey_Testimony_2012.pdf

November 1, 2011   Dear Representative:   We strongly oppose H.R. 3210, the RELIEF Act, sponsored by Representatives Cooper, Blackburn and Bono Mack. As proposed, this amendment would be devastating to the 2008 Lacey Act amendments, one of the most important and successful trade and conservation laws passed in the last decade, This bill would hurt American businesses and severely undermine longstanding US leadership in global forest conservation and curbing illegal logging. Responding to the economic and environmental costs of illegally traded timber, the 2008 amendments to Lacey Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress, industry, labor and environmental organizations, making it unlawful to trade timber and wood products or other plants taken in violation of the laws of either a US state or a foreign country. Read more: http://www.eia-global.org/PDF/Oppose3210Letter.pdf

World Wildlife Fund 3 years ago

November 1, 2011   Dear Representative:   We strongly oppose H.R. 3210, the RELIEF Act, sponsored by Representatives Cooper, Blackburn and Bono Mack. As proposed, this amendment would be devastating to the 2008 Lacey Act amendments, one of the most important and successful trade and conservation laws passed in the last decade, This bill would hurt American businesses and severely undermine longstanding US leadership in global forest conservation and curbing illegal logging. Responding to the economic and environmental costs of illegally traded timber, the 2008 amendments to Lacey Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress, industry, labor and environmental organizations, making it unlawful to trade timber and wood products or other plants taken in violation of the laws of either a US state or a foreign country. Read more: http://www.eia-global.org/PDF/Oppose3210Letter.pdf

November 1, 2011   Dear Representative:   We strongly oppose H.R. 3210, the RELIEF Act, sponsored by Representatives Cooper, Blackburn and Bono Mack. As proposed, this amendment would be devastating to the 2008 Lacey Act amendments, one of the most important and successful trade and conservation laws passed in the last decade, This bill would hurt American businesses and severely undermine longstanding US leadership in global forest conservation and curbing illegal logging. Responding to the economic and environmental costs of illegally traded timber, the 2008 amendments to Lacey Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress, industry, labor and environmental organizations, making it unlawful to trade timber and wood products or other plants taken in violation of the laws of either a US state or a foreign country. Read more: http://www.eia-global.org/PDF/Oppose3210Letter.pdf

November 1, 2011   Dear Representative:   We strongly oppose H.R. 3210, the RELIEF Act, sponsored by Representatives Cooper, Blackburn and Bono Mack. As proposed, this amendment would be devastating to the 2008 Lacey Act amendments, one of the most important and successful trade and conservation laws passed in the last decade, This bill would hurt American businesses and severely undermine longstanding US leadership in global forest conservation and curbing illegal logging. Responding to the economic and environmental costs of illegally traded timber, the 2008 amendments to Lacey Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress, industry, labor and environmental organizations, making it unlawful to trade timber and wood products or other plants taken in violation of the laws of either a US state or a foreign country. Read more: http://www.eia-global.org/PDF/Oppose3210Letter.pdf

Greenpeace 3 years ago
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Bill Summary

To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to limit the application of that Act with respect to plants and plant products that were imported before the effective date of amendments to that Act enacted in 2008, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3209 Premarket Predictability Act of 2011 H.R. 3211 Humanitarian Device Reform Act of 2011