USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Update


AMS continues to work towards mandatory ACE filing for the Section 8(e) program – applicable to specific fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop imports. The law requires imported products to meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, and maturity standards as domestic products covered by federal marketing orders.


AMS reports that electronic filing is progressing, with approximately 85% of Section 8(e) entries being filed electronically.The actual date for mandatory ACE filing of the message set has been delayed until January/February 2021 pending completion of certain ACE enhancements by CBP.


During the RAC bi-weekly calls with AMS, the agency also reports:


  • At this time, unfortunately, the Ag inspectors do not have access to ACE or DIS. The Form 356 and 357 (Request for Inspection) and supporting documents need to be submitted by the importer / broker to the inspector. AMS is working to make this process paperless, but there are regulatory and technical hurdles yet to be resolved.
  • MS is telling brokers/importers, when you transmit your data on the inspection location, use a 5-digit zip code!
  • AMS reminds brokers/importers that only round red potatoes are exempt from the 8(e) import requirements. Long red potatoes are not exempt.  If round red potatoes are mixed with long red potatoes, the shipment is not exempt. AMS is seeing instances where mixed shipments are erroneously being claimed as exempt.

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