October 28, 2011
The Lacey Act Defense National Consensus Committee aims to develop a standard that will enable companies to "operate successfully within the guidelines and intent of the Lacey Act," legislation intended to block illegal forestry products from the U.S. market.
"Along with other activities, this effort represents a yearning for clarity in Lacey Act regulatory guidelines, enforcement rules and the desire of business and industry to implement adequate and appropriate 'due care' in assuring that material and product imports meet the requirements of the Lacey Act," said Mary Luehrsen, director of public affairs and government relations at the National Association of Music Merchants, in a press release. "Due care standards have been negotiated for other regulations such as Superfund environmental cleanup; NAMM will work with other industry groups to achieve a fair and reasonable standard by which business can operate successfully within the guidelines and intent of the Lacey Act."
"Importantly, the standard has the potential to fill an important gap in terms of understanding the concept of due care as it applies to the amended Lacey Act and in doing so positively affect the conservation of forests around the world," added Richard Donovan, Senior Vice President of Rainforest Alliance, an organization that has developed environmental standards for several industries.
Beyond the National Association of Music Merchants and the Rainforest Alliance, the Lacey Act Defense National Consensus Committee includes the Forest Stewardship Council, Anderson Berkshire Hathaway, National Wood Flooring Association, Knoll, Williams Sonoma, Sustainable Furnishings Council, National Wildlife Federation, Floor Covering Institute, Wood Flooring International, Gibson Guitar Corporation, Staples, Home Depot, Kimberly-Clark, Columbia Forest Products, C.F. Martin & Company, Danzer Group, and the Capital Markets Partnership.
The Lacey Act Defense National Consensus Committee says it will draft the proposed standard and present it at a public meeting in the next 90-120 days.
The proposed standard comes after Gibson Guitar Corporation criticized the federal government's handling of its enforcement action and case against the Nashville-based guitar-maker. Gibson has been raided twice since the Lacey Act was amended in 2008.