U.S. Customs and Border Protection is planning to expand its test of the partner government agency message set through which the trade community may file in the Automated Commercial Environment data for PGA-regulated importations that had previously been submitted on paper forms. No earlier than April 15 this test will be expanded to include the Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Currently, test participants are submitting PGA message set data for the EPA for vehicles, engines and ozone-depleting substances and for the Food Safety and Inspection Service for meat, poultry and eggs. The data elements being accepted are generally those found in EPA forms 3520-1 and 3520-21 (importation declaration) and FSIS form 9540-1 (import inspection application and report) and include data submissions related to ODS imports that are currently handled via phone, email and/or paper communication. Only such data elements for type 01 (consumption) and type 11 (informal) commercial entries filed at the following ports are being accepted as part of this test: EPA - Newark, Long Beach and Los Angeles; FSIS – Champlain, Houston, Philadelphia, Savannah, Sweet Grass, New York/Newark and Wilmington.

CBP now plans to expand the PGA message set test to include electronic filings of the NOA for type 01 and type 11 commercial entries filed at the ports of Detroit, Port Huron and New York/Newark. The data elements to be filed are those found in the current paper EPA Form 3540-1. At this time, the test will include only entries originating in the ocean and rail environment; truck and air shipments will be included in later stages of the test.

CBP states that electronic filing of the NOA will reduce the overall paperwork burden on importers and ports associated with these EPA-regulated shipments, significantly reduce the initial processing and review time for NOAs (often from days to minutes), provide consistency of this review across all EPA regions, and eliminate the delivery service charges for the paper form. It will also allow electronic checks of certain mandatory information (e.g., registration numbers), thus facilitating pre-arrival admissibility verifications and focusing CBP and EPA resources on shipments of interest.

Any party seeking to participate in the modified PGA message set test should email their CBP client representative. Interested parties without an assigned client representative should email CBP with the subject heading “PGA Message Set EPA NOA Test FRN-Request to Participate.” Emails must include the applicant’s filer code and the port(s) at which it is interested in filing the appropriate PGA message set information.

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