APHIS Lacey Office Recognizes Importance Of Industry Training With Grant

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By Ashley Amidon CAE Executive Director International Wood Products Association Alexandria, VA (703) 820-7807 (c) www.iwpawood.org

Hopefully by this point all Import/Export Wood Purchasing News readers are familiar with IWPA’s Due Diligence Training courses. Created in 2015 by the industry for the industry, they are constantly evolving to provide participants with the latest information and resources to tailor compliance plans for their company.

Last September, those years of hard work and expertise were recognized by the Lacey Act Program Office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) with a significant grant to broaden the courses to new industries. With the publication of Phase VII of the Lacey Act Declaration expected in the Federal Register by the time this publication goes to print, this grant allows IWPA to share our knowledge with every single company and industry covered by the Lacey Act, at 0 cost to the participants. This grant is a testament to IWPA’s longstanding commitment to promoting sustainable and legal trade practices within the wood products industry, as well as a desire to ensure our members receive the best in education.

This APHIS grant signals the agency’s recognition of the critical role of knowledge-sharing in achieving compliance with the Lacey Act. This funding will allow us to significantly expand our educational outreach, building on our existing compliance and due diligence training programs to ensure that businesses across various industries have the knowledge and resources they need to comply with the law and contribute to global environmental sustainability.

The APHIS grant has supported the creation and dissemination of on-demand online education modules, including a comprehensive Lacey Act Due Diligence Course consisting of five modules aimed at equipping industry professionals with the knowledge and tools necessary for legal business operations, available for free on our website. IWPA will also host a series of online interactive hybrid discussions and in-person learning sessions, facilitated by industry experts, to provide a platform for real-time engagement and learning. These discussions are designed to foster a deeper understanding of the Lacey Act requirements, offering participants the opportunity to explore the practical implications of compliance in their daily operations. Through the new funding stream, IWPA will reach an estimated 1,400 individuals through direct training, with hundreds more benefiting from online discussions and thousands from presentations at industry gatherings.

If you have not yet taken IWPA’s Due Diligence Training courses or are looking for a refresher, the grant ensures this training is available to you free of charge. Simply visit our website or reach out to our office directly to get registered. Attendees who successfully complete our training are even eligible to receive CCS/CES credits from the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Associations of America’s Educational Institute (NEI).

This grant-funded project reflects IWPA’s commitment to a broad-based approach to compliance education. By enhancing the availability and accessibility of compliance training, IWPA aims to foster an industry-wide culture of due diligence and legal trade practices, benefiting businesses, consumers, and the global ecosystem.

More than that, it demonstrates that our industry is better when we unite for a common purpose. IWPA’s education is built on the collective knowledge of almost 10 years of annual educational offerings, and we are so proud of all that we have accomplished, and incredibly excited about reaching out to every industry covered by the Lacey Act.
Learn more at www.iwpawood.org.

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