Electronic filing of import data using the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) became mandatory as of March 31, 2016 for two of the fifty Participating Government Agencies (PGAs). Beginning this summer (the effective date is yet to be announced), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will require electronic transmission of reporting data as part of ACE – and at that time, new data elements must be reported as well.
What’s being affected?
As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the AMS manages marketing programs affecting U.S. imports of agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, peanuts and other specialty crops, and eggs.?Specific commodities that are supported by AMS include: poultry eggs and yolk; fresh potatoes and tomatoes; onions; dates; avocados; oranges and grapefruit; table grapes; kiwi; raisins; olives in saline solution; nuts (hazelnuts, filberts, walnuts, pistachios) and peanuts.
Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, these commodities may be subject to quality inspections or aflatoxin testing, in accordance with Federal marketing orders and agreements. These inspections and testing ensure that imported products meet the same quality requirements that domestically produced products meet during periods that quality requirements are in effect.
AMS reporting requirements
The 3 AMS Programs are for:
- Marketing Orders Quality Inspection
- Imported Egg Inspection
- Imported Peanut Inspection
The Marketing Order Program has eight Processing Message Sets that may be used. Which to use depends on the product being imported, the date imported, the quantity imported, or whether exempt.
- AMS-M01 – Request Inspection by AMS after Entry
Used when importing fresh or processed fruit, vegetable or specialty crop products subject to marketing order quality inspection that have not been previously inspected for compliance and are to be sold to consumers.
AMS-MO2 – Request Admittance Based on Previous Inspection
Used when importing fresh potatoes, tomatoes, and onions subject to marketing order quality requirements for sale to consumers, but were previously inspected by a recognized government agency and determined to be in compliance with program requirements.
AMS-M03 – Request Admittance Based on Exemption Permit Already Issued by AMS
Used when importing fresh or processed fruit, vegetable, or specialty crops products subject to marketing order quality inspection, but imported for exempt purposes and documented by an FV-6 exemption form obtained from AMS in advance of the entry filing.
AMS-M04 – Request Exemption Permit from AMS
Used when importing fresh or processed fruit, vegetable, or specialty crop products subject to marketing order quality inspection (or aflatoxin testing, for pistachios) which are imported for exempt purposes (such as processing, charity, or animal feed), to request AMS issue an Importer’s Exempt Commodity Permit (FV-6) for this shipment with the filing of the entry.
AMS-M05 – Request AMS Draw Samples for Aflatoxin Testing of Pistachios
Used when importing pistachios for human consumption, to notify AMS to draw a sample for aflatoxin testing.
AMS-M06 –Report Exempted Variety or Type
Used when the imported product variety or type is not regulated under a Marketing Order.
AMS-M07 – Report Seasonal Exemption
Used when importing oranges, tomatoes and table grapes which are exempt from a Marketing Order quality inspection when imported outside MO seasonal time frames.
AMS-M08 – Report Minimum Weight Exempt Products
Used when the imported product is exempt from a Marketing Order because the quantity of product being imported is below the established minimum amount.
The Egg Import Inspection Program has two Processing Message Sets that may be used. Which to use depends on whether a LPS-222 form was already obtained.
- AMS-EG1 – Request Inspection of Shell Eggs or De-characterized Inedible Egg Products
Used to request AMS inspection when importing poultry eggs in the shell (table eggs, hatching eggs, breaking stock), and eggs out of the shell not for human food.
AMS-EG2 – Request Inspection of Shell Eggs Previously Requested Using Paper LPS-222 Form
Used when a hard copy LPS-222 has already been issued by AMS.
The Peanut Import Inspection Program has only one Processing Message Set.
AMS-PN1 – Request Inspection of Peanuts
Used to request AMS inspection when importing peanut imported for human consumption. AMS will inspect for grade and sample for aflatoxin.
Adjusting your importing processes for ACE
You should continue to file your data as per usual, but confirm with your customs broker how they intend to report AMS data requirements under ACE.
Work with the experts at Livingston
The customs and trade experts at Livingston are here to help. We’re fully ACE-ready and we can help you ensure your AMS data sets are complete and accurate and that your import entries are filed correctly.