United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 13, 2024

§ 3372.
Prohibited acts
(a)
Offenses other than marking offenses
It is unlawful for any person—
(1)
to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law;
(2)
to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce—
(A)
any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law; or
(B)
any plant—
(i)
taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State, or any foreign law, that protects plants or that regulates—
(I)
the theft of plants;
(II)
the taking of plants from a park, forest reserve, or other officially protected area;
(III)
the taking of plants from an officially designated area; or
(IV)
the taking of plants without, or contrary to, required authorization;
(ii)
taken, possessed, transported, or sold without the payment of appropriate royalties, taxes, or stumpage fees required for the plant by any law or regulation of any State or any foreign law; or
(iii)
taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any limitation under any law or regulation of any State, or under any foreign law, governing the export or transshipment of plants;
(3)
within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18)—
(A)
to possess any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law or Indian tribal law, or
(B)
to possess any plant—
(i)
taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State, or any foreign law, that protects plants or that regulates—
(I)
the theft of plants;
(II)
the taking of plants from a park, forest reserve, or other officially protected area;
(III)
the taking of plants from an officially designated area; or
(IV)
the taking of plants without, or contrary to, required authorization;
(ii)
taken, possessed, transported, or sold without the payment of appropriate royalties, taxes, or stumpage fees required for the plant by any law or regulation of any State or any foreign law; or
(iii)
taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any limitation under any law or regulation of any State, or under any foreign law, governing the export or transshipment of plants; or
(4)
to attempt to commit any act described in paragraphs (1) through (3) or subsection (e).
(b)
Marking offenses

It is unlawful for any person to import, export, or transport in interstate commerce any container or package containing any fish or wildlife unless the container or package has previously been plainly marked, labeled, or tagged in accordance with the regulations issued pursuant to paragraph (2) of section 3376(a) of this title.

(c)
Sale and purchase of guiding and outfitting services and invalid licenses and permits
(1)
Sale
It is deemed to be a sale of fish or wildlife in violation of this chapter for a person for money or other consideration to offer or provide—
(A)
guiding, outfitting, or other services; or
(B)
a hunting or fishing license or permit;
for the illegal taking, acquiring, receiving, transporting, or possessing of fish or wildlife.
(2)
Purchase
It is deemed to be a purchase of fish or wildlife in violation of this chapter for a person to obtain for money or other consideration—
(A)
guiding, outfitting, or other services; or
(B)
a hunting or fishing license or permit;
for the illegal taking, acquiring, receiving, transporting, or possessing of fish or wildlife.
(d)
False labeling offenses
It is unlawful for any person to make or submit any false record, account, or label for, or any false identification of, any fish, wildlife, or plant which has been, or is intended to be—
(1)
imported, exported, transported, sold, purchased, or received from any foreign country; or
(2)
transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
(e)
Captive wildlife offense
(1)
In general
Except as provided in paragraph (2), it is unlawful for any person to—
(A)
import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, or in a manner substantially affecting interstate or foreign commerce; or
(B)
breed or possess;
any prohibited wildlife species.
(2)
Limitation on application
Paragraph (1) does not apply to—
(A)
an entity exhibiting animals to the public under a Class C license from the Department of Agriculture, or a Federal facility registered with the Department of Agriculture that exhibits animals, if such entity or facility holds such license or registration in good standing and if the entity or facility—
(i)
does not allow any individual to come into direct physical contact with a prohibited wildlife species, unless that individual is—
(I)
a trained professional employee or contractor of the entity or facility (or an accompanying employee receiving professional training);
(II)
a licensed veterinarian (or a veterinary student accompanying such a veterinarian); or
(III)
directly supporting conservation programs of the entity or facility, the contact is not in the course of commercial activity (which may be evidenced by advertisement or promotion of such activity or other relevant evidence), and the contact is incidental to humane husbandry conducted pursuant to a species-specific, publicly available, peer-edited population management and care plan that has been provided to the Secretary with justifications that the plan—
(aa)
reflects established conservation science principles;
(bb)
incorporates genetic and demographic analysis of a multi-institution population of animals covered by the plan; and
(cc)
promotes animal welfare by ensuring that the frequency of breeding is appropriate for the species; and
(ii)
ensures that during public exhibition of a lion (Panthera leo), tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), jaguar (Panthera onca), cougar (Puma concolor), or any hybrid thereof, the animal is at least 15 feet from members of the public unless there is a permanent barrier sufficient to prevent public contact;
(B)
a State college, university, or agency, or a State-licensed veterinarian;
(C)
a wildlife sanctuary that cares for prohibited wildlife species, and—
(i)
is a corporation that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of title 26 and described in sections 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of such title;
(ii)
does not commercially trade in any prohibited wildlife species, including offspring, parts, and byproducts of such animals;
(iii)
does not breed any prohibited wildlife species;
(iv)
does not allow direct contact between the public and any prohibited wildlife species; and
(v)
does not allow the transportation and display of any prohibited wildlife species off-site;
(D)
has custody of any prohibited wildlife species solely for the purpose of expeditiously transporting the prohibited wildlife species to a person described in this paragraph with respect to the species; or
(E)
an entity or individual that is in possession of any prohibited wildlife species that was born before December 20, 2022, and—
(i)
not later than 180 days after December 20, 2022, the entity or individual registers each individual animal of each prohibited wildlife species possessed by the entity or individual with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service;
(ii)
does not breed, acquire, or sell any prohibited wildlife species after December 20, 2022; and
(iii)
does not allow direct contact between the public and prohibited wildlife species.
(f)
Plant declarations
(1)
Import declaration
Effective 180 days from the date of enactment of this subsection, and except as provided in paragraph (3), it shall be unlawful for any person to import any plant unless the person files upon importation a declaration that contains—
(A)
the scientific name of any plant (including the genus and species of the plant) contained in the importation;
(B)
a description of—
(i)
the value of the importation; and
(ii)
the quantity, including the unit of measure, of the plant; and
(C)
the name of the country from which the plant was taken.
(2)
Declaration relating to plant products
Until the date on which the Secretary promulgates a regulation under paragraph (6), a declaration relating to a plant product shall—
(A)
in the case in which the species of plant used to produce the plant product that is the subject of the importation varies, and the species used to produce the plant product is unknown, contain the name of each species of plant that may have been used to produce the plant product;
(B)
in the case in which the species of plant used to produce the plant product that is the subject of the importation is commonly taken from more than one country, and the country from which the plant was taken and used to produce the plant product is unknown, contain the name of each country from which the plant may have been taken; and
(C)
in the case in which a paper or paperboard plant product includes recycled plant product, contain the average percent recycled content without regard for the species or country of origin of the recycled plant product, in addition to the information for the non-recycled plant content otherwise required by this subsection.
(3)
Exclusions

Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply to plants used exclusively as packaging material to support, protect, or carry another item, unless the packaging material itself is the item being imported.

(4)
Review

Not later than two years after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall review the implementation of each requirement imposed by paragraphs (1) and (2) and the effect of the exclusion provided by paragraph (3). In conducting the review, the Secretary shall provide public notice and an opportunity for comment.

(5)
Report
Not later than 180 days after the date on which the Secretary completes the review under paragraph (4), the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report containing—
(A)
an evaluation of—
(i)
the effectiveness of each type of information required under paragraphs (1) and (2) in assisting enforcement of this section; and
(ii)
the potential to harmonize each requirement imposed by paragraphs (1) and (2) with other applicable import regulations in existence as of the date of the report;
(B)
recommendations for such legislation as the Secretary determines to be appropriate to assist in the identification of plants that are imported into the United States in violation of this section; and
(C)
an analysis of the effect of subsection (a) and this subsection on—
(i)
the cost of legal plant imports; and
(ii)
the extent and methodology of illegal logging practices and trafficking.
(6)
Promulgation of regulations
Not later than 180 days after the date on which the Secretary completes the review under paragraph (4), the Secretary may promulgate regulations—
(A)
to limit the applicability of any requirement imposed by paragraph (2) to specific plant products;
(B)
to make any other necessary modification to any requirement imposed by paragraph (2), as determined by the Secretary based on the review; and
(C)
to limit the scope of the exclusion provided by paragraph (3), if the limitations in scope are warranted as a result of the review.
(Pub. L. 97–79, § 3, Nov. 16, 1981, 95 Stat. 1074; Pub. L. 100–653, title I, § 101, Nov. 14, 1988, 102 Stat. 3825; Pub. L. 108–191, § 3(a), Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2871; Pub. L. 110–234, title VIII, § 8204(b), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1292; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VIII, § 8204(b), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2053; Pub. L. 117–243, § 3, Dec. 20, 2022, 136 Stat. 2336.)
cite as: 16 USC 3372