Ensuring Lacey Act Compliance
In Part 1, we looked at the first three provisions “Lacey Act Compliance Program” established by Gibson Guitars in the wake of their legal battles. Since the Gibson case will likely provide a legal precedent for future Lacey Act cases, we believe it to be wise to carefully evaluate our current policies in light of its provisions.
As we continue to compare J. Gibson McIlvain’s long-held policies to those of Gibson Guitars, we grow continually convinced of our own carefulness in sourcing our own lumber.
As our valued customer, we hope you’ll agree that we’ve been exercising due diligence all along, ensuring that the lumber you receive from us has been sustainably and legally sourced.
4. Documentation Verification
After (1) policy communication, (2) lumber origination, and (3) thorough research, Gibson Guitar’s new policy requires verification of the validity of sample documentation before a lumber purchase.
Here at J. Gibson McIlvain, we always make certain to have documentation before a shipment takes place, enabling us to make sure we’ll be able to claim the lumber at the port, immediately upon arrival.
We also recognize various forms of certification in addition to FSC, since many foreign mills utilize different (and sometimes more effective) systems.
5. Review Process
Of course, even the most thorough documentation does no good if it is not carefully evaluated. Once documentation has been received and verified for a new supplier, the careful review of imports should continue.
Changes in local law or supplier practices could easily put transactions with a formerly compliant supplier into the category of being noncompliant with the Lacey Act.
J. Gibson McIlvain is constantly reviewing suppliers and enlisting the help of local third-party entities to provide information about local legal issues and continual compliance.
6. Documentation Storage
Just like unevaluated documentation is virtually useless, documentation that is not carefully stored and organized in an accessible fashion will do no good if Lacey Act compliance comes into question; keeping track of the paper trail is part of “due diligence.”
In order to back up claims to legality of the supply chain, keeping hard-copy records is necessary. J. Gibson McIlvain maintains storage facilities for this particular purpose, providing source and legal details about all shipments we receive.
We also keep e-mails relating to research and communication with suppliers.
7. Questionable Shipments
The idea here is that if the documentation makes Lacey Act compliance uncertain, Gibson Guitar’s policy will be to forego the transaction in question rather than making a legally risky purchase. At J. Gibson McIlvain, we make sure that we’re completely comfortable with any land concessions and mills with which we deal. Often, our decades-long relationships allow us to keep close ties with our international sources, making sure each lumber deal we secure is fully researched and compliant.