Those importing live plants, unrooted cuttings, and cut flowers should be aware that the federal government is steadily moving toward an integrated, electronic process for imports and exports. By the end of 2016, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) will become the “single window” - the primary system through which the trade community will report imports and exports and the government will determine admissibility. According to Customs and Border Protection, through ACE, manual processes will be streamlined and automated, paper will be eliminated, and the trade community will be able to more easily and efficiently comply with U.S. laws and regulations.
Over the longer term, there are obvious benefits to this modernization and streamlining effort. But in the near term, the trade community is very concerned with potential delays and confusion. This is especially true given the perishability of plant-related imports. If this affects you, please watch for upcoming guidance on key dates and opportunities to prepare.
Brought to you by Lighthouse, an AmericanHort Program. Article by Craig Regelbrugge. Photo courtesy of AmericanHort.