AMS Outlines New Import Certification Requirements for Organic Products
During its February conference call, the NCBFAA’s Regulatory Agencies Committee (RAC) featured representatives from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to explain upcoming new requirements for submitting electronic import certificates for shipments containing organic food, feed or fiber. Under the new rule, more entities in the supply chain will need to become certified parties, including buyers, sellers, importers or exporters, and repackagers. (Transportation intermediaries and warehouses are exempt, unless they repackage the shipment.) Upon import, the broker will need to work with the importer to provide in ACE the import certificate number from the foreign exporter.
Since not all Harmonized Tariff System numbers have a break-out for organic products, the AMS will flag 7200 HTS codes as potentially subject to the organic import certificate requirement. For imported products in one of these HTS codes, brokers will need to either provide the required data elements for organic products or file a disclaimer.
A proposed rule is expected to be published in the next few weeks. The agency will allow a long transition period, with full implementation expected by late summer 2021. For more information, you can view an AMS slide presentation here.