APHIS will no longer accept unoriginal ePhytos after 2021

APHIS will no longer accept unoriginal ePhytos after 2021

APHIS will no longer accept unoriginal ePhytos after 2021

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) says that it will no longer accept copies of phytosanitary certificates and forms in 2022.

The organization said that it allowed importers of plant commodities to upload copies of phytosanitary certificates and forms in response to the unprecedented challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic on trade.

"Starting January 1, 2022, APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will accept only original phytosanitary certificates and forms for plant commodities," APHIS said.

"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. 

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.

Acceptable phytosanitary certificates include:

  • Certificates created through a participating country’s ePhyto system, or signed paper forms.
  • Acceptable foreign site certificates of inspection and/or treatment include signed paper forms, signed copies of the master PPQ Form 203, and digitally signed electronic PPQ Form 203s.

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