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ITDS to be Tested for Submission of Data on Fruits and Vegetables, Lacey Act Declarations

Thursday, August 06, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Two more federal agencies have announced plans to conduct pilot tests of the International Trade Data System involving the electronic submission of data on imported goods they regulate using the partner government agency message set component of the Automated Commercial Environment. These pilots will initially be conducted only at certain ports of entry.

Fruits and Vegetables. The Agricultural Marketing Service pilot will cover imports of fruits, vegetables and specialty crops regulated by AMS.

In support of ITDS and the use of PGA message sets, AMS’ Marketing Order and Agreement Division is developing a new automated system called the Compliance and Enforcement Management System that will replace and automate many of the systems MOAD has used in the past to ensure compliance with import and export regulations. CEMS will electronically link with ACE to create a “pipeline” through which data will be transmitted between CBP and MOAD. In this pilot, ACE will transmit PGA message set data to AMS via CEMS, which will streamline processes by eliminating the use of existing paper-based systems and expediting the conditional release of shipments for the purpose of inspection prior to final release into U.S. commerce.

Importers and brokers who participate in this pilot will transmit PGA message set data – generally the data found on the AMS Specialty Crops Inspection Division form FV-357 (Notification of Entry, 8e Products and Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Specialty Crops) – to ACE using the Automated Broker Interface. This data is required to determine whether inspection of the shipment is required, to send an email notification to AMS inspection offices about those shipments that will require inspection, and to provide CBP with information to determine whether to conditionally release the merchandise. The transmission of this data will be done in lieu of importers and brokers filing CBP Forms 3461 and 7501 or a shipment invoice to AMS inspection service personnel at the port of entry prior to shipment arrival.

Lacey Act Declaration. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has developed a pilot plan to test and assess ITDS for the electronic submission via the PGA message set of Lacey Act import declaration data for plants and plant products. APHIS participation in the ITDS test will initially be limited to this import declaration and expansion to include other APHIS programs will be announced in the future.

Under this test CBP will accept electronically for ACE processing Lacey Act import declarations filed through ABI. These data elements are those submitted in ACS, with APHIS using the Lacey Act Web Governance System, or via the PPQ 505 Plant and Plant Product Declaration Form and 505B Supplemental Form, which are currently handled as paper communications with APHIS. Examples of the kind of data that will be submitted are the scientific name of the plant, the value of the importation, the quantity of the plant, and the name of the country from which the plant was harvested. Test participants will not be able to use the Document Imaging System to transmit the required data.

This test will cover all modes of transport and all covered plants and plant products when imported at one of the selected ports. When the plant or plant product is not on the enforcement schedule, participants must use the appropriate Lacey Act disclaimer code in place of the import declaration.

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