U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued an interim rule allowing the Environmental Protection Agency’s form 3540-1, Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices,’ to be filed electronically. This rule was effective as of Sept. 30 and comments on it are due by Oct. 31.

Currently, when a pesticide or device is to be imported, the importer of record or its agent must submit, prior to arrival, a NOA to the EPA regional office with responsibility for the port of entry where the good will be entered. The EPA reviews and evaluates the information presented on the NOA, determines the disposition to be made of the shipment upon arrival (i.e., release, detention, or refusal of entry), and informs CBP of the action to be taken. The completed NOA form is signed by an EPA official and returned to the importer or its agent, which must submit it to CBP along with the documentation required for the entry of merchandise.

CBP is now amending its regulations to permit the NOA to be filed electronically via any CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system. The NOA may still be filed in paper form but must be submitted to the EPA prior to arrival of the shipment.

CBP is also amending its regulations to clarify that it will detain a shipment if it has not received the completed NOA at the time of entry, not upon arrival.

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