A group of apparel and textile organisations is calling for changes to new reporting requirements that come into force next week on all plant and plant products imported into the US - including textile items made from plant based fibres.

Under the amended Lacey Act, from next Monday (15 December), US imports will require a declaration giving the name, value, quantity, and country of origin of the plant being imported, or of the plant used to produce the goods being imported.

But the coalition of 18 apparel groups - which includes the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the US Association of Importers of Textile and Apparel (USA-ITA) - is urging Congress to narrow the scope of the legislation.

They say the import declaration requirement should not be applied to products classifiable in Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) subheading 4202 and in HTS chapters 50 through 65, which cover textile and apparel goods.

As the coalition points out, some of these products contain no plant products whatsoever, while others are made with inputs derived from common food crops.

Some are made with inputs derived from tree or plant material, but are highly processed and many steps removed from the actual tree or plant.

All of which makes it difficult or impossible for importers of those products to provide the detailed scientific information and country of harvest required on the import declaration.

Enforcement of the Lacey Act (which is part of The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008) will be phased-in, and there are plans to create an electronic form that must be filled out prior to importation.