Skip to main content

Floor Covering Institute updates Lacey Act investigation and UN's "Year of Forests"

Here are a couple interesting updates that I thought the flooring industry might like to know about.   Gibson Guitar Asked to Forfeit Illegal Lacey Guitars
News from the Gibson Guitar Lacey Act investigation comes today from the Nashville Business Journal. The government has filed a civil suit against Gibson seeking "official forfeiture" of the guitars they allege were partially made of wood deemed to be illegally sourced under the provisions of the Lacey Act.  

We are following this story because Gibson is the first to be investigated under the new provisions of the Lacey Act Amendments which bans illegally harvested timber from the US supply chain.  What the government does with Gibson could be applicable to how they  investigate and prosecute claims of illegal wood in the floor covering supply chain.

Lacey makes it a crime to receive, transport or sell timber products harvested in a manner contrary to the laws of the country from which the timber originated.  Once illegal wood enters the US supply chain, whether as a raw material or in a finished product such as flooring, a Lacey violation is triggered placing everyone in the downstream supply chain at risk of prosecution. In the case of Gibson, the government alleges that it used illegal Ebony in the construction of some of its guitars. Under the Lacey provisions, all products containing illegal wood can be confiscated, including floor covering, furniture, and toys, among many others. 

The flooring industry supply chain, and all other wood products industries, must employ a standard of “due diligence” to ascertain that the products they sell do not contain wood that was harvested illegally.  The National Wood Flooring Association is working with a group of timber stakeholders to get the standards of "due dillegence" clarified. We will keep you posted. You can read more about the due care standard at one of our earlier blog posts on The U.S. Lacey Act Amendments.

EU Bans Illegal Wood
In July the EU’s Parliament approved a ban similar to the Lacey Act which prohibits the sale of timber logged illegally under the rules on the country of origin.  According the parliament figures, at least 20 percent of the wood entering the EU now comes from illegal sources.  You can read more about this at

UN Proclaims 2011 International Year of Forests

The United Nations General Assembly has named 2011 the International Year of Forests and has requested the private sector, governments and NGOs raise public awareness of progressive forest management as a key element in building a sustainable global society.   In July the UN launched its official logo for this year long event.  More information and guidelines on the use of the logo can be found on the UN Forum on Forest website at The Floor Covering Institute will incorporate use of the logo and awareness of progressive forest management at the World Flooring Forum to be held in March 2011 at the Domotex international flooring show in Shanghai.

Thanks for reading,


Susan Negley is the Director of Communications for the Floor Covering Institute.


Popular posts from this blog

Concrete Moisture Leading to Flooring Failures - Is this an Epidemic?

Sheet vinyl  lifting off concrete substrates that looks like blistered skin from a burn, wood flooring turning up at the edges, carpet tiles emitting foul odors from reactions with “wet” slabs.  All of these failures in floor covering occur daily around the country plaguing flooring contractors and end users.  Is this a flooring conspiracy or something more sinister?  Well, it’s not a conspiracy, nothing so colorful as that, and it’s not sinister unless you consider that moisture lurking in the substrates is skulking around waiting to pounce. What are the reasons for this outbreak of flooring failures?  Have adhesives changed?  Is flooring material different?  Hasn’t concrete been the same for years?  Why is this all happening now? Adhesives have changed from when solvent carriers were used but adhesives are actually better now.  Flooring products have changed with the onslaught of non-permeable backings which can trap moisture vapor emissions coming from concrete.  Concrete hasn’t

Intelligent merchandising in the floor covering showroom

Donato Pompo In a ceramic tile and stone showroom the two biggest challenges for customers are  visualizing how the tile or combination of tiles will look installed in the home and determining which tiles are suitable for their intended application. Figuring out how to address these two challenges should be a priority for every showroom. Along with that, conveying the features, benefits and limitations of the products is the next challenge. And perhaps the most important piece of the showroom puzzle, is to train sales people so they are knowledgeable and competent showroom consultants (I wrote about this previously on the blog in, How Training and E-learning Can Improve ROI ).   Years ago, when I was an importer and distributor with several showrooms I coined the term Intelligent Merchandising to represent the approach we developed to help our customers make selections and our sales people more effective in assisting our customers during the selection process. The challeng

Will Chinese Drywall VOC Issue Affect Flooring?

Chinese drywall shares commonalities with flooring, particularly as it relates to VOCs. If you’re new to the flooring industry you may be surprised to learn that last decade it was necessary for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to anoint carpet as a safe product . The proclamation was due to flawed tests perpetrated against the carpet industry by Anderson Laboratories . But the issue isn’t dead if you search the Internet. There are still sites that support Anderson Labs. Even a "green" industry site writes “ A rash of alleged health problems with carpet have yet to be properly explained, suggesting that all carpets, and especially the less expensive synthetics, should be used with great caution .” The drywall industry is going through a similar experience. Two major differences: 1. They’ve pinpointed it to some drywall made in China. 2. It’s true and real, and no one is suggested it isn’t destroying homes and p