Forgot your account information?  |  Create a CME account

Manufacturers ask US to rethink new environmental rule

Published by Steve Coleman on March 19, 2012

Twenty Canadian industry associations are presenting a united front against the US government's decision to broaden environmental legislation to the point where it's getting in the way of doing routine business.

Changes to the Lacey Act mandated by a 2008 farm bill require exporters to record where every scrap of plant fibre in a product originated.

While the changes were made in an effort to help preserve the rainforests against untenable farming practices, a huge majority of the products containing plant materials that the US imports originate in Canada, says the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition. The sheer volume of goods originating in this country should give Canadian firms an exemption.

"To date, the imposition of this requirement on shipments from Canada has caused considerable disruption and has imposed unnecessary compliance costs," a March 16 letter the Regulatory Cooperation Council Secretariat of the Treasury Board of Canada says. "APHIS (the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture) receives approximately 6,000 import declarations every month and approximately 90 per cent of these are filed by shippers from Canada. The direct costs pale in comparison to the in-house, corporate cost of completing, reconciling, matching and storing the required declaration information to the shipment destined to the United States.``

Concerns are starting to snowball, CMC says. Companies in the auto and auto parts sectors, the chemical and plastics industries, the bioproducts industry and even nutrient supplement makers are starting to get worried about how to deal with ``such a blunt import requirement`` when supply chains cross both sides of the Canada-US border.

Canada has a solid record when it comes to forestry management, the CMC says. Member associations have asked that the bilateral committee looking at ways to trim the thickening that has occurred at the border make the Lacey Act a top priority.

For the letter`s full text, look here.

Found in: news

National Office

Alberta British Columbia
Manitoba New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia
Ontario Québec
Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan