American Shipper

APHIS HOLDS BIGLEAF MAHOGANY VANEERS SHIPMENTS FROM BRAZIL

APHIS HOLDS BIGLEAF MAHOGANY VANEERS SHIPMENTS FROM BRAZIL

   The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has released five shipments of bigleaf mahogany veneers from Brazil, but the agency continues to hold 20 other shipments to determine their legality.

   Bigleaf mahogany is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Six Latin American countries have listed their bigleaf mahogany populations in CITES in Appendix III. As a member of CITES, Brazil must provide export permits for all mahogany shipments.

   APHIS has held the Brazilian mahogany shipments at U.S. ports since Feb. 8, pending a determination by Brazilian authorities that the export permits accompanying the shipments were valid and the wood was legally acquired.

   APHIS said its decision to release five of the 20 bigleaf mahogany veneer shipments was “based on information provided by the government of Brazil indicating that the wood exported by these companies did not exceed their legally approved quotas for mahogany.”

   As for the 20 held shipments, “adequate information has not been provided to release these shipments,” APHIS said. “High-level discussions between Brazil and the United States regarding the legality of the 20 shipments of mahogany from Brazil that remain on hold at U.S. ports will continue.”

   The U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service monitors CITES in the United States and ensures that importers and exporters have the proper permits for transporting and trading CITES listed species. APHIS is responsible for enforcing the provisions of CITES related to plants and works closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service.