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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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APHIS Will Extend Timeline for Implementing the APHIS Core Message Set in ACE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will extend the timeline for implementing the APHIS Core Message Set in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). In February, APHIS published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it would activate Core Message Set flags in ACE on August 3, 2020. In response to stakeholder concerns about operational and economic setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, APHIS will publish a second Federal Register notice in the coming weeks that will delay implementation until January 2021. This action will give the trade community time to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for this change. 

Although using the APHIS Core Message Set is not required at this time, it is strongly recommended for those stakeholders who are ready. As a reminder, APHIS and the National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association (NCBFFA) recorded a series of informational webinars that explain the essential steps for using the APHIS Core Message Set in ACE. The webinars—six in all—cover a wide range of APHIS-regulated products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, animal products, miscellaneous and processed products, seeds not for planting, and plants for planting as well as a general overview of the APHIS Core message set. Click here to view the webinar series

For help getting started with the APHIS Core Message Set or to ask questions about submitting import data for a specific product type, please send an email to

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