CBPÆs eCERT ready for Australian beef
U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Jan. 3 will begin to require all export certifications for Australian beef imports to be filtered through its Electronic Certification System.
CBP said the change to eCERT, which replaces the paper-based filing method, is being made at the request of Australia’s Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and with the U.S. government's approval.
CBP's eCERT uses electronic data transmissions of information normally associated with a required export document, such as a license or certificate to facilitate the administration of quotas, and ensures that proper restraint levels are charged without being exceeded. Australia has used the eCERT process for all dairy quota imports into the United States.
Foreign countries participating in eCERT transmit information via a global network service provider. This allows connectivity to the CBP Automated Commercial System (ACS). When making an entry, specific data elements transmitted to CBP by the importer/customs broker must match eCERT data from the foreign country before any applicable quota is reported.
'The ability to have government-to-government transmission decreases the potential for circumvention of quotas resulting from counterfeit documents,' CBP said in a Federal Register notice.
CBP further said that while a shipment may be released despite the absence of certificate information, claims for a preferential duty rate won't be considered unless the information transmitted by the filer matches the information transmitted by the foreign government.
'If the certification is not available at time of entry, the filer has the option to use the non-preferential rate of duty or warehouse, export, or destroy the merchandise. The filer may file a protest if the certification transmission is received after liquidation of an entry, using the appropriate guidelines,' CBP said.