Filing APHIS Core Message Set Data in ACE

Last Modified: March 29, 2024

The U.S. government uses the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) to process imports and exports. ACE streamlines import and export processes by allowing businesses to submit required data electronically. This page includes all the resources you’ll need to get started.

If you choose not to use ACE, you may provide APHIS-required import information in paper form. However, this may result in slower customs review and additional costs.

Get Started Using the APHIS Core Message Set in ACE

  1. Make sure you're familiar with APHIS import requirements and whether your product needs a permit. This includes knowing whether you need to file a Lacey Act declaration. There is a separate message set for filing Lacey Act declarations.
  2. Choose a software that supports the APHIS Core Message Set and make sure you have technical support as well. APHIS’ data requirements may change over time, and you may need updates or technical support from your software vendor. View the list of approved software vendors.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the guidance and resources on this page.

APHIS Core Message Set Questions and Answers

We’ve answered frequently asked questions on a range of APHIS Core Message Set topics.

If you don't see your question answered here, contact the APHIS Core Message Set Help Desk at 1-833-481-2102. Select option 1 for new inquiries or option 2 for existing inquiries with a reference ticket. You can also submit questions by e-mail to

View Frequently Asked Questions

Using ACE and the APHIS Core Message Set

Watch these videos to learn how to submit an APHIS Core Message Set for APHIS-regulated commodities.

These webinars were recorded in 2020. Some coding may have changed since then. Please refer to the APHIS Core Implementation Guide, the APHIS Trade Supplemental Guide, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection ACE webpage for the most up-to-date information.

We've put together the following tools and resources to help users submit an APHIS Core Message Set in ACE.

When To Submit an APHIS Core Message Set

Look up commodities by CBP entry type or tariff code to determine when an APHIS Core Message Set is required.

Electronic Phytosanitary Certification

Find out which U.S. trading partners are sending or receiving ePhytos and how to submit an ePhyto within the APHIS Core Message Set.

Generally Authorized Non-Propagative Plant Products

View the list of generally authorized non-propagative plant products that don’t require an import permit or have to meet any APHIS requirements.

Commodity Name Validation Lists

Look up genus, species, subspecies, and common names for the following commodities:

If you haven't used ACE before, these resources from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can help.

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