Washington, DC– According to Robert M. Bishop of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in regard to recent shipping delays and the timing of phytosanitary certificates for the European Union, “in the past, the EU was forgiving on post departure issuance of phytosanitary certificates. They allowed the USDA to inspect up to 30 days before the shipment left the U.S. and accepted a PC issued after departure. That is not the case anymore. Many EU member states strictly interpret the time limit as follows: The shipment must leave the country within 14 days of inspection AND the PC should be issued no more than 14 days before departure.
“This is a much more restrictive interpretation of the 14-day time limit as known in the past. It is also shorter than the 30-day policy. However, we have some wiggle room with the 14-day time limit when a shipment is delayed if the PC was issued within our 30 days inspection policy, and we could prove that the shipment started its journey (truck, rail, etc.) out of the interior of the US within the EU 14-day limit. All we had to do is replace the PC and add an AD saying that a delay in conveyance was the issue. The EU usually accepted that.”
For more information, go to www.usda.gov.