US gun, guitar, and furniture-manufactures must declare basic information about wood sources

Jeremy Hance
March 31, 2010

In May of last year federal agents raided Gibson Guitar headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee after they received information that the guitar-giant was using illegally logged rosewood from Madagascar in the construction of their musical instruments. The scandal forced Gibson's CEO to take a leave of absence as a member of Rainforest Alliance.

As the Gibson Guitar case shows, US manufacturers should be increasingly aware of where they are getting their wood from. Tomorrow, April 1st, 2010, marks the beginning of US enforcement for basic transparency requirements under the Lacey Act for guitars, revolvers, hand tools, pool cue, and certain furniture. This requires manufacturers of such items to declare basic information about where their wood comes from and how it is sourced.

"The declaration requirement of the Lacey Act is a critically important part of achieving greater supply chain transparency and legality, the over-arching goals set forth by Lacey," said Alexander von Bismarck of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in a press release."For the first time, companies are required by law to ask basic questions about their supply chains and understand exactly where their wood comes from."

Amended in 2008, the US Lacey Act now makes it illegal to trade any illegally logged wood products. Other sectors, including flooring, plywood, sawn timber, and caskets have already been declaring this information to the US government for a year.

The correct declaration forms can be found on the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (March 31, 2010).

US gun, guitar, and furniture-manufactures must declare basic information about wood sources.