Background

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will accept only original phytosanitary certificates and forms for imports of plant commodities. The agencies had been allowing importers to upload copies of these documents in response to COVID-related challenges.

APHIS and CBP will continue to accept digital exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates through the ePhyto system, a government-to-government sharing of such documents. 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.

Acceptable phytosanitary certificates include those created through a participating country’s ePhyto system or signed paper forms. Acceptable foreign site certificates of inspection and/or treatment.

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