Electronic Phytosanitary Certificates
To help facilitate the clearance of imported plants and plant products during the COVID-19 pandemic, both USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to accept electronically-produced versions of phytosanitary certificates through Dec. 31, 2020. 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.
Import Assessments Proposed on Pecans
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting comments through Nov. 23 on a proposal to establish a pecan research, promotion, and information order that, among other things, would seek to maintain and expand markets for pecans. This program would be financed by an assessment on pecan importers and producers, with an initial assessment rate of $0.02 per pound of in-shell pecans and $0.04 per pound of shelled pecans imported into or produced within the U.S. Entities that import or produce less than 50,000 pounds of in-shell pecans (25,000 pounds of shelled pecans) on average for four fiscal periods would be exempt from the assessment.