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A LOOK AT THE LACEY ACT AND ITS EFFECT ON TRADE AND THE CASE OF CECIL THE LION
The Death of Cecil the Lion this past June in Zimbabwe, by a Minnesota dentist has spurred many ethical and moral questions, but it has always spawned important questions about the legal issues involved with animals within the international trade and transportation industries. With companies like American, Delta and United banning the transport of hunting trophies after this incident, the question of legality becomes paramount. In order to fully explore and understand the issue to ensure compliance, we must look to the current laws. Starting with the Lacey Act.
From the original article "About that Lion and the Lacey Act", by Lawrence Friedman, Partner at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn, LLP:
"The Lacey Act was first passed in 1900 and is an early conservation law. As originally enacted, it protected animals from illegal hunting through criminal and civil penalties. The law also prohibits trade in protected animal and plant species that are hunted or harvested illegally. It is a crime to import into the United States any injurious animals including brown tree snakes, big head carp, zebra mussels, and flying fox bats. 18 USC 42. Exceptions can be made for properly permitted (and dead) zoological specimens and certain "cage birds." A violator may be imprisoned and fined. More relevant is that the Lacey Act also makes it illegal to import any plant or animal taken in violation of a foreign law or regulation. 16 USC 3372. This is an important compliance issue for anyone that imports animal and plant products. If you happen to import wood to make violins, for example, you need to know that the wood was harvested legally. Assuming you purchase from a supplier who is a few steps removed from the actual person that cut down the tree, how can you prove that the wood was legally harvested? Keep in mind that the Act applies to derivative products as well. This is a paperwork and due diligence process familiar to importers who have to comply with lots of similar regulations. And, it is important. That is what Gibson Guitars learned when it agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a Lacey Act case."
For more information please read the Official Article.
President Biden announced on April 12th his intent to nominate Chris Magnus, who has served as police chief of Tucson, Ariz., since January 2016, as commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
According to a White House press release, Magnus rose through the ranks of the Lansing, Mich., police department and has also served as police chief in the cities of Fargo, N.D., and Richmond, Calif. “In each of these cities,” the press release said, “Magnus developed a reputation as a progressive police leader who focused on relationship-building between the police and community, implementing evidence-based best practices, promoting reform, and insisting on police accountability.” The White House also cited Magnus’ “extensive experience in addressing immigration issues” during his time in Tucson near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Enforcement of the prohibition of importation of goods mined, produced, or manufactured by forced labor is on the rise. CBP has published a webpage that contains withhold release orders issued by the Commissioner and findings published in the Federal Register. CBP does not generally publicize specific detentions, re-exportations, exclusions, or seizures of the subject merchandise that may have resulted from the withhold release orders or findings.
On April 29, 2021, Kevin J. Kurland, Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced an administrative settlement of $3,290,000 with SAP SE (SAP), a multinational software company based in Walldorf, Germany. SAP also agreed to complete three audits of its export compliance program over a three-year period. SAP voluntarily self-disclosed potential violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to BIS and cooperated with the investigation conducted by the Boston Field Office of BIS’s Office of Export Enforcement.