APHIS (aka USDA) Core – ACE Data Requirements

Dear Valued Client,

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is one of the 50 PGAs whose data transmission requirements are changing under ACE. Note that APHIS (Core) requirements differ for products governed by the Lacey Act Requirements, which went live on March 31, 2016; APHIS (Core) requirements are scheduled to go live in mid-January 2021.

Understanding ACE-related changes

APHIS is responsible for the imports of animals, biotechnology, and plants. When these goods arrive at the border, paper forms are presented by the carrier to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Officer, as well as various permits and certificates.

Under ACE, most of these paper forms will be transmitted/submitted electronically as a message set.

However, not all paper forms are being submitted as a message set; the following forms will be scanned into the Document Imaging System (DIS):

  • STAT Supporting Documents
  • Declaration of Importation (Required to Accompany Animal)
  • Application for Inspecting and Dipping
  • S. Veterinary Biological Product Permit
  • Various Import Documents

The following forms will remain paper only:

  • S. Permit to Import (Includes Transit)
  • Foreign Government Sanitary Certificate (Veterinary Health Certificates)
  • Agreement of Pet Bird Owner (U.S. Origin Returning)
  • Foreign Meat Certificate
  • Phytosanitary Certificate (issued by Country of Origin)
  • Foreign Government Health Certificates (including dip certificates, spay certificates, test charts, etc.)

For all other APHIS forms not listed above (as DIS or paper) the electronic filing will require data within the entry transaction in the form of message sets. Some data elements are mandatory, while others are conditional, or even optional. The requirements for data elements are dependent on the commodity.

Understanding your responsibility

None of the actual forms are being eliminated at this point in time. Both APHIS and CBP Agriculture reserve the right to continue to collect or to ask for original paper documents.  In many cases, such a request will be directed to the Customs Broker. That being said, please work with Axxess International to make sure that you are providing all required forms with your regular shipment documents, to ensure your APHIS goods continue to clear the border quickly and efficiently.



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