In 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) responded to the unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic on trade by allowing importers of plant commodities to upload copies of phytosanitary certificates and forms to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) using the Document Image System (DIS).
Starting October 1, 2022, APHIS and CBP will accept signed original and uploaded copies of phytosanitary certificates and forms for plant commodities. Acceptable documents will include:
PPQ and CBP will continue to accept digital exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates through the ePhyto system—a government-to-government sharing of electronic phytosanitary certificates.
The APHIS Core message set supports the transmission of ePhytos. A paper certificate would not need to be presented for cargo clearance by U.S. officials if the certificate is an ePhyto with a proper declaration in the APHIS Core message set using the PG13/14 code AE1. Please review the list of participating ePhyto countries.
Note: A trading partner that is marked “Yes” may choose to not send an ePhyto message set for a shipment. This could be due to limitations with the country’s system, outages, or other reasons.
For more information about plant or plant product imports, email email@example.com or call 1-877-770-5990. For questions about plant or plant product exports, contact your local export certification specialis or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about ACE DIS, see implementation guide.
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.