Background

To help facilitate the clearance of imported plants and plant products during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have extended for another six months, through Dec. 31, 2021, the period during which they will continue to accept electronically-produced versions of phytosanitary certificates.

Importers and brokers may upload the electronic documents to the Automated Commercial Environment using the Document Imaging System or provide them by other means, such as email attachments. Acceptable phytosanitary certificates include scanned copies of original certificates, electronic certificates created through a participating country’s ePhyto system, or signed paper forms. Certificates should be legible and include APHIS-required statements.

In addition, APHIS will continue to accept precleared consignments that are accompanied by an email from the Plant Protection and Quarantine office with an electronic copy of PPQ Form 203 attached if the original form is not available.

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