Effective January 1, 2022, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will no longer accept unoriginal/copied phytosanitary certificates and forms for plant commodities. Only original certificates and forms will be accepted. The digital exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates through the ePhyto system is also permissible by PPQ and CBP.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “The APHIS Core message set supports the transmission of ePhytos. 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.” You can review a list of participating ePhyto countries here. Canada, for instance, is not an ePhyto country. It’s also important to note that a country marked “Yes” may not send an ePhyto message set for a shipment for various reasons, such as system limitations, outages, etc.
Acceptable phytosanitary certificates include:
- Certificates created through a participating country’s ePhyto system, or signed paper forms.
- Acceptable foreign site certificates of inspection and/or treatment include signed paper forms, signed copies of the master PPQ Form 203, and digitally signed electronic PPQ Form 203s.
If you have any questions regarding plant or plant product imports, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-770-5990. If you have export questions for these products, you can email email@example.com, or you may contact your local export certification specialist.