Whether you’re concerned about particularly CITES-protected species or Lacey Act compliance, which applies to all imported lumber, the fact is that you can be held responsible for illegally harvested lumber. You and your end-use customer, like every other member of the supply chain, are responsible to be aware of U.S. laws as well as any local laws that relate to the lumber’s origin. Because those local laws are always changing, one of the most significant ways you can help relieve yourself of taking unnecessary risks is by purchasing your imported lumber from an Importer of Record.
What’s Your Responsibility?
As a lumber customer, you are a member of the supply chain. As such, you can be held responsible for illegal harvesting of the lumber you purchase, no matter how far removed you are from the lumber’s original source. Unfortunately, despite international legislation by organizations such as CITES and U.S. legislation such as the Lacey Act, it’s still possible for illegally harvested or exported lumber to arrive in our country. So your responsibility goes beyond making sure you’re acting within the constraints of the law, yourself, and extends to asking your supplier for documentation that allows you to investigate your lumber’s source.
Whom Can You Trust?
In Part 1, we discussed some of the ways that buying lumber from an Importer of Record can help you fulfill your legal obligations to buy legally sourced and exported lumber. But by reducing the number of members in the supply chain, you’re only part of the way to solving the potential problem. Imagine the game “gossip,” where one person starts by whispering something into the ear of the person beside him or her, and the chain continues around the room. Not only does the sheer number of people in the chain increases the likelihood that the message will become garbled, but the integrity (or at least the clarity of speech and hearing abilities!) of each member is also a factor. Integrity is difficult to prove in a short period of time; over extensive periods of time, however, trust is built and relationships are forged. J. Gibson McIlvain relies on sources who have proven to be worthy of our trust over decades. In addition to building on those relationships, we also have agents in each country from which we import lumber who verify lumber at its site of origin.
The combined effect of a shorter supply chain and time-tested relationships with lumber sources makes J. Gibson McIlvain an importer of record that diligently does the leg work for you, in order to ensure Lacey Act and CITES compliance. You can trust the reputation we’ve earned over more than 200 years in the lumber industry. We’re cautious about not only legal compliance but uncompromising quality as well, providing our customers with the best lumber legally available.