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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine Provides an Update on Import and Export Activities for Plants and Plant Products

We recognize the many challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses to trade. We are doing all we can to ensure the health and safety of our employees while still delivering the services you need. At this time, we continue to provide all of our regular plant and plant product import and export services, including:

  • Accepting and processing permit applications,
  • Inspecting imported plants and plant products,
  • Identifying intercepted pests,
  • Monitoring phytosanitary treatment activities, and
  • Inspecting and certifying plants and plant products for export.

Accepting Electronic Certificates and Forms During the COVID-19 Emergency

To help facilitate the clearance of imported plants and plant products during the COVID-19 emergency, APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will accept electronically produced versions of phytosanitary certificates, effective immediately. Importers and brokers may upload the electronic documents to the Automated Commercial Environment using the Document Imaging System or provide them by other means, such as email attachments. Acceptable phytosanitary certificates include scanned copies of original certificates, electronic certificates created through a participating country’s ePhyto system, or signed paper forms. Certificates should be legible and include APHIS-required statements.

In addition, we will allow precleared consignments to be accompanied by an email from APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) with an electronic copy of PPQ Form 203 attached, if the original form is not available.

We Are Here For You

Please continue to work with our PPQ staff as you normally do. They are available by phone and email. You may also submit import or export-related questions using the following contact information:

We continue to closely monitor this evolving situation and will provide updates as needed. Be sure to regularly check the APHIS website for the latest information.


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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