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H.R. 3210 (112th): RELIEF Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 17, 2012.

Retailers and Entertainers Lacey Implementation and Enforcement Fairness Act or the RELIEF Act - (Sec. 3) Amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to: (1) make such Act inapplicable to any plant that was imported into the United States before May 22, 2008, or any finished plant or plant product the assembly and processing of which was completed before such date; (2) limit the application of plant importation declaration requirements to plants that are entered for consumption; and (3) exclude from declaration requirements a plant product that is derived from a tree unless the product is solid wood (requires the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to issue regulations that define the term "solid wood" for such purpose).

Provides that: (1) civil forfeiture provisions that prohibit any person from asserting an ownership interest in contraband or other property that it is illegal to possess, or that prohibit the federal government from being required to return contraband or other property that the person from whom the property was seized may not legally possess, shall not apply to plants or plant products; and (2) civil forfeiture provisions of such Act are the sole authority for civil seizure or forfeiture actions alleging, or predicated upon, a violation of such Act.

(Sec. 4) Prohibits any person from importing, exporting, transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring, or purchasing in interstate or foreign commerce, or any person within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States from possessing, a plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold: (1) 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 that is directed at the protection, conservation, and management of plants; and (2) in violation of any limitation under any law or regulation of any state, or under foreign law, governing the export or transshipment of plants and that is directed at the protection, conservation, and management of plants

Limits the application of a civil penalty under such Act for violations of foreign laws to violations of foreign laws that are directed at the protection, conservation, and management of plants.

Requires the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce, as program responsibilities are vested pursuant to the provisions of Reorganization Plan Numbered 4 of 1970, to review the implementation of plant declarations with 180 days. Requires the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (currently, the Secretary of Commerce) to report on plant declaration requirements, including an evaluation of the feasibility of creating a publicly available database of laws of foreign countries from which plants are exported.