Phytosanitary Certification How to Obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate for Your Export Product Mike Allen, NCDA&CS Export Certification Specialist Export Certification: General Overview Agricultural and Forest products from North Carolina may carry plant pests that foreign countries and other States do not want introduced into their own boundaries. • Entryrequirements for these products may vary greatly from country to country, and from state to state. • A given country or state may have very rigid requirements for a particular plant or plant product, but be less concerned about another. Export Certification: General Overview As a service, NCDA&CS Plant Protection Specialists provide phytosanitary certificates to exporters to document that the plant pest requirements have been met. These certificates may be one of four types, with the primary certificate being the USDA PPQ Form 577: •PPQ Form 577, Federal Phytosanitary Certificate •PPQ Form 578, Federal Export Certificate, Processed Plant Products •PPQ Form 579, Federal Phytosanitary Certificate for Reexport •NCDA&CS State Phytosanitary Certificate Export Certification: General Overview Cost of Federal Certificates: •Shipments valued at less than $1250; the certificate fee is $42. •Shipments valued at more than $1250; the certificate fee is $77. Note: After October 1, 2010 the fees will increase: •Shipments valued at less than $1250; the certificate fee will be $60. •Shipments valued at more than $1250; the certificate fee will be $104 . Purpose of Federal Phytosanitary Certificates The purpose of a federal phytosanitary certificate (FPC) is to expedite the entry of domestic plants or unprocessed or unmanufactured plant or forest products into a foreign country. A Federal Phytosanitary Certificate (FPC) Helps Serve Its Purpose by stating and certifying the following: • The Country of Origin for the product as the United States. In certain instances, the State and County are also stated. • The plant or plant product meets the importing country’s entry requirements. • The plant or plant product has been inspected and is considered free from quarantine significant pests listed in the country’s requirements; according to current inspection standards. • The plant or plant product has been inspected and is practically free from injurious pests (pests of non quarantine significance). • If necessary, the plant or plant product has been tested and/or treated according to official procedures. Enabling Legislation: The Plant Protection Act Foreign countries have established plant quarantine regulations that exporters of U.S. agricultural products are required to meet. To enable USDA-APHIS-PPQ* and their cooperators to help exporters meet the plant quarantine import requirements of foreign countries, Section 418, CERTIFICATION FOR EXPORTS, of the Plant Protection Act provides the authority for issuing export certificates for the export of commodities. The regulation for enforcing the Plant Protection Act is 7CFR Part 353 – Export Certification. *U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine Phytosanitary Certification is Based on International Standards The U.S. export program is based on standards established by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO). The U.S. export program has an obligation and responsibility to meet the standards developed by the IPPC and NAPPO. The primary standards on which the U.S. export program is based are the following: • The IPPC Standards consist of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM). • The NAPPO Standards consist of Regional Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (RSPM). USDA-APHIS-PPQ Represents the U.S. in NAPPO PPQ is delegated as the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) and assumes the responsibilities for ensuring the U.S. export program meets international standards. Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM), Export Services (ES) is the headquarters unit within USDA-APHIS-PPQ that maintains the export program for U.S. exporters of U.S. and foreign-origin agricultural commodities. Although foreign countries have established plant quarantine regulations that U.S. exporters are required to meet, the U.S. does not require export certification of commodities. (USDA–APHIS–PPQ) does not regulate the exportation of commodities. PPQ and their cooperators assist U.S. exporters with commodities that are eligible for certification; to meet the plant quarantine import requirements of foreign countries. Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM), Export Services (ES) Unit Export Services (ES) • Conducts Bi-lateral Negotiations • Manages the Export Certification Program • Provides phytosanitary certificates to exporters when required by a foreign country • Maintains EXCERPT data base to track and detail the phytosanitary requirements for each country • Manages the Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking System (PCIT) Federal-State Cooperative Program The Federal and State Departments of Agriculture participate in cooperative agreements to more effectively perform export certification. The PPQ export program is expanded to enable designated State cooperators to issue export certificates at interior points of origin in the U.S. To obtain authority to issue export certificates, a State plant regulatory agency must agree to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PPQ. The MOU is a formal document that specifies the responsibilities and areas of cooperation mutually understood and agreed to by the Federal and State Departments of Agriculture. Federal-State Cooperative Program •In North Carolina, The N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), Plant Industry Division, Plant Protection Section is the designated cooperator and issues Federal and State Phytosanitary Certificates (FPC’s). •PPQ also issues FPC’s in North Carolina at ports and some interior points of origin. How to Obtain a Federal Phytosanitary Certificate in North Carolina? Your first step is to contact either your local NCDA&CS Plant Pest Specialist or USDA-APHIS-PPQ office. NCDA&CS Specialists and PPQ ACOs (Authorized Certification Officer): • Have met educational and field experience requirements to become certified to issue FPC’s • Have access to the EXCERPT data base of product requirements of importing countries • Have access to PCIT to process the application, charge the appropriate fees, and process the certificate How to Obtain a Federal Phytosanitary Certificate in North Carolina? Your first step is to contact either your local NCDA&CS Plant Pest Specialist or USDA-APHIS-PPQ office. NCDA&CS Specialists and PPQ ACOs (Authorized Certification Officer): • Provide guidance and regulatory oversight for any sampling, laboratory testing, field inspections, or treatments necessary for certification •Will inspect the product to be exported • If the product passes inspection and meets the requirements, will issue the Federal Phytosanitary Certificate for export Contact Information: NCDA&CS Specialists and PPQ ACOs Use this link: http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/nursery/fwatxt.htm to access contact information for Specialists. If you are unable to reach a Specialist contact: Mike Allen Export Certification Specialist NCDA&CS Plant Protection Section Phone: 919.733.6930 ext. 230 Fax: 919.733.1041 Mike.Allen@ncgar.gov Contact Information: NCDA&CS Specialists and PPQ ACOs PPQ ACOs can be contacted through the following regional offices: Susan Kostelecky, USDA-APHIS-PPQ Export Certification Specialist, North Carolina and South Carolina, Susan.P.Kostelecky@aphis.usda.gov Goldsboro, NC Phone: (910) 583-0033, Fax: (910) 583-0035 Wilmington (910) 815-4667 Raleigh (919) 855-7605 Charlotte (704) 424-1014 Plan Ahead and Make Contact with the Specialist or ACO •If you contact the Specialist or ACO after the shipment is gone, it could result in costly delays or possible refusal of entry of the product at its destination. •Requirements may include field inspections, laboratory testing, treatment requirements; or the product may not be eligible for certification. •Many countries require two year or two growing cycle field inspections for ‘freedom from” statements for certain diseases on nursery stock or high risk plants and plant products. Plan Ahead and Make Contact with the Specialist or ACO •Investigate what countries you may want to send your products to well in advance to avoid delays, rejections, or destruction of your shipment. •Do your homework and use the Specialist or ACO as a resource early on in your export considerations. •If your product is eligible for certification and the requirements can be met, then proceed to the next step. Exporter (Shipper) is Responsible for Applying for Inspection and Certification Welcome to PCIT! Apply for the Inspection and Certification of each shipment you want certified through PCIT (web based Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System). For the Do-it-Yourself types, this Industry Users Quick Reference Guide provides the steps and directions for setting up your initial account in PCIT. Exporter (Shipper) is Responsible for Applying for Inspection and Certification Welcome to PCIT! If you are unable to establish your PCIT account using the quick reference guide, then contact your Specialist or ACO and they will help you set one up. If you are unable to reach a Specialist contact: Frank S. White Plant Protection Specialist/Field Export Certification Specialist NCDA & CS Plant Protection Section Phone/Fax: 252-792-5624 Cellular: 252-217-3046 Frank.S.White@ncagr.gov Information to be Supplied in the PCIT Application Applicants must provide the following information in the PCIT application in order for a Specialist or ACO to determine if a commodity may be certified: • Commodity’s scientific (botanical) name—if the exporter only provides a common name, the exporter should precisely identify the commodity for the purpose of identifying specific import requirements (e.g., wheat grain versus wheat seeds). The scientific name is required in most cases to search EXCERPT, and it is the exporter’s responsibility to provide the scientific name. • Country to which the commodity is being exported, including port (s) of entry Information to be Supplied in the PCIT Application • Exportation date • Location where the commodity can be inspected • Location where the commodity was grown (country, State, or county) • Supporting documents: foreign export certificate or equivalent, import permit, State or other Federal agency inspection certificate, laboratory test results, etc. • Whether the commodity is a processed product and if so, a description of the process Exporter Certification Responsibilities: Official Documents •When they exist, exporters should provide official documents stating import requirements if they differ from the receiving countries export summary in EXCERPT. •Official documents may be Import Permits (IP), Special Authorizations, or recent correspondence from the plant protection service of the foreign country, which takes precedence over the information in the export summary. Exporter Certification Responsibilities: Official Documents •Exporters are responsible for providing written, certified, accurate translations of official documents before the Specialist or ACO can accept them. •Letters of credit are strictly fiduciary documents. For the purposes of Phytosanitary Certification, letters of credit cannot be considered of official notification of changes or exceptions to plant quarantine regulations, which must come from the plant protection services of foreign countries. Exporter Certification Responsibilities: Time Limits •Exporters must be aware of the Time Limits foreign countries impose for the period between inspection or date of issue and shipping date. •Specific time limits are in export summaries, and the Specialist or ACO can furnish this information. If a time limit is not specified, then the general time limit between inspection or date of issue is not more than 30 days before export, unless the export summary states it differently. Exporter Certification Responsibilities: Time Limits •Exporters must be aware of lead time requirements. Lead time refers to the amount of time needed to inspect or to examine commodities before their shipping date. •An adequate amount of lead time must be allowed between submitting the application in PCIT, and the anticipated shipping date, to allow for inspection and other certification requirements that may be necessary (growing field/site inspections, sampling and laboratory testing, treatments). Exporter Certification Responsibilities: Inspection •Exporters should make the shipment available for inspection. •Shipments cannot be inspected on board aircraft, ships, or in the holds of vessels. •Plants or plant products must be accessible to the Specialist and ACO to verify and inspect the material described in the application. Exporter Certification Responsibilities: Inspection •Shipping documents or dock papers should be marked or stamped to prevent the shipment form being loaded before the inspection is conducted. •The exporter is responsible for providing the labor to open and close packages for inspection and to provide adequate facilities to perform the inspection. •Such facilities include supplies, equipment and proper lighting required for an official inspection before certification. Exporter Certification Responsibilities: The Product •The exporter should provide a high quality, pest free product. •There is no wiggle room on the pest free part. Freedom from regulated pests and apparent freedom (98%+) of quality pests has to occur to meet import requirements. •The export product represents North Carolina, the U.S. and the producer in the world market. •North Carolina export products face competition from producers in other States and countries. Only the best can survive that level of competition! Exporter Certification Responsibilities: Treatments •The exporter should provide for any required treatments, reconditioning, or other actions to meet import requirements of the foreign country. •Export only those plants or plant products that have been inspected and met all certification requirements. •The exporter should insure that all products used in treatments are labeled for use in North Carolina, and that treatments are conducted in a safe manner that meets all label precautions and guidelines. •The exporter should safeguard the certified shipment from infestation between the date the shipment was certified and the actual shipping date. Keep it clean and pest free. If Problems Occur With the Shipment……. Call us if problems occur! If there are problems with a product under a Federal Phytosanitary Certificate, contact the issuing office immediately for assistance. USDA maintains ties with most importing countries and some international area offices, and we (NCDA&CS) maintain close ties with USDA. USDA may be able to work with the government officials on the shipment to get the shipment released and moving to its destination and to help avoid future problems. Contact Information: NCDA&CS Specialists Use this link: http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/nursery/fwatxt.htm to access contact information for Specialists. If you are unable to reach a Specialist contact: Mike Allen Export Certification Specialist NCDA&CS Plant Protection Section Phone: 919.733.6930 ext. 230 Fax: 919.733.1041 Mike.Allen@ncgar.gov Thank You for Exporting North Carolina Products!
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