USDA to Introduce Electronic Import Requirements Under APHIS Core Program

In late 2019 or early 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to introduce new import procedures which will require the filing of additional data elements or documents electronically through Customs & Border Protection’s (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). Once formally introduced, USDA and CBP are expected to provide a minimum six-month Informed Compliance period before transitioning to an Enforced Compliance period, which could result in applicable cargo being delayed entry or transport.

This specific set of USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) changes are referred to as ‘APHIS Core’ to differentiate them from current APHIS Lacey Act requirements; which are already provided electronically through ACE. These upcoming changes are intended to support the APHIS mission to regulate and safeguard imported cargo under its jurisdiction.

Once APHIS Core is fully implemented, paper-based forms will transition to a fully electronic filing or a document image submission; or a combination of both. Paper-only submission options are expected to be discontinued in the future.

Over 2,000 U.S. HTS classifications are flagged under the AHPIS-Core program. Of those, over 600 require a license, permit, certificate or other document (LPCO) to be included in the import document package. For the remaining 1400+ HTS classifications, LCPOs are conditional. Transitioning this data to a digital environment for consumption by the USDA will add incremental work for service providers and importers.

Delmar International will continue to monitor USDA APHIS Core trade developments and provide updated information as it is made available, including any firm implementation dates. In the meantime, affected parties are encouraged to carefully review this information and determine the impact to their U.S. import program. The most current CBP APHIS Core Message Set and Trade Guides are available below.

Please contact your local Delmar Representative or email our U.S. Customs Advisory Services Group for additional assistance – including to learn about our Customs Advisory, Consulting and Compliance Services.

Additional Information:

APHIS Supplemental Trade Guide – Appendix APH-A

APHIS (CORE) ACE PGA Message Set: Implementation Guide

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