What is APHIS Core & What Do You Need to Do?
On January 25, 2021, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will require the mandatory filing of its "Core" message set (APHIS Core) in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). APHIS Core does not change the admissibility requirements of goods; however, the method for providing information to US Customs and Border Protection has changed for regulated goods--from paper provided at the port of entry to transmission via ACE. Read on to find out if your goods are affected and what's changing.
What goods are affected?
APHIS licenses, permits, certificates, or other documents (LPCO) for many goods must now be transmitted via ACE, and a broad range of goods are impacted. The APHIS Core Message Set includes Plant Protection & Quarantine (APQ), Veterinary Services (AVS), Biological Regulatory Services (ABS), and Animal Care (AAC) programs. Products range from flowers, seeds, fruits, and vegetables to plants, plant products, live dogs, and animal byproducts. What makes things extra complicated is that HTSUS codes are too general to make a determination of applicability because both regulated and non-regulated commodities can fall within the same HTSUS code.
As your Customs broker, Deringer will need to transmit APHIS Core data elements with your entry. We're here to assist you in making this transition, and we've provided some preliminary steps below to help you prepare. Preparation is key because enforcement begins January 25th.
What should you do?
- Determine the admissibility requirements of your products, including any licenses, permits, certificates, or other documents (LPCO), by visiting APHIS' Imports and Exports webpage or contacting APHIS customer service.
- If you reach out to APHIS, they will need product details, including a description, country of origin, treatments, and processing performed on the goods.
- If LPCO is not required, then the goods can be disclaimed. Deringer will require documentation from importers disclaiming goods from APHIS Core, and goods that are disclaimed in error may be subject to action by USDA.
- If there are LPCO requirements, this documentation should accompany entry paperwork every time and must be produced before arrival at the port of entry to allow the data to be reviewed, entered, and submitted in ACE. Failure to do so for goods requiring APHIS Core reporting may result in delays at the port of entry.
- Government-to-government documents, such as the Phytosanitary Certificate and Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) Certificate, will still be required in paper form and reviewed for authenticity, but the certificate numbers will be required for submission of the message set.
How can I find out more?
- The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) has provided an APHIS Core toolkit on their website with an overview of the regulations, resources, FAQ, and other helpful information.
- APHIS has published APHIS Core Message Set Questions and Answers with topics covering the message set overview, animals and animal products, and plants and plant products.
- A series of webinars highlighting key aspects of APHIS Core and regulated commodities are available on the APHIS site: APHIS Core Message Set Guidance Webinars.
- Deringer has published two guidance documents that act as an index of available resources on the web: APHIS Core Resources and APHIS Requirements: Importing Farm Equipment Guidance.
- Join us for an APHIS Core webinar on February 3rd--registration details coming soon!