APHIS Core Alert

A mandatory compliance change is expected to be announced to trade in the near future, which will require the electronic filing of data elements related to agriculture commodities through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  The change is intended to support the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) mission to regulate and safeguard the goods within its jurisdiction. This program is referred to as “APHIS-CORE” since those goods falling under the APHIS Lacey Act are already required to be filed electronically.

A six to nine-month informed compliance period is expected to permit the trade to adapt to the new requirement, after the Federal Register Notice is projected to be issued in March or April. The launch will require process and system coordination between importers and brokers to ensure that the data is available in a timely and compliant manner for submission to CBP.  Digitizing the information currently residing only in paper format will require incremental workload for importers and brokers.

Currently, much of the information needed by APHIS is provided via paper Licenses, Permits, Certificates and other documents (LPCO’s) within the set of shipping documents accompanying the import entry.  Once fully launched, the unique information contained on these 29 LPCOs (e.g., health certificates, phytosanitary certificates, import permits, etc.) will either be required via the PGA Message Set, through the Document Imaging System (DIS), or continue as a paper requirement, see below.

Message Set 18
Message Set & DIS 2
Remain Paper 6

The requirements were previously identified in CBP’s CATAIR APHIS-CORE Message Set Implementation Guide last updated on October 6, 2016.  An update will be required and is expected that it will be reissued upon the announcement.

There are 2,067 U.S. Harmonized Tariff Systems numbers flagged for APHIS-Core.  For 624 of them, an LPCO is mandatory and for 1,443 it is conditional.  For those that are conditional, it will need to be determined, based on the particulars of those products, if APHIS-CORE may be disclaimed.

Livingston is monitoring the situation closely.  Further communication will be issued as the official launch date is announced.  Our goal is to proactively work with clients to ensure the responsibilities as importer of these goods is planned in advance, and fully met when it becomes mandatory.

If there are any questions regarding APHIS or any other PGA’s, please contact us at USRegAffairs@livingstonintl.com