USDA Implements New Phytosanitary Certificate for Export and Phytosanitary Certificate for Re-export


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The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is implementing a new format for phytosanitary certificates and phytosanitary certificates for re-export.

The use of plain paper and the continued implementation of electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhyto) worldwide illustrate that commodities can be safely and successfully traded without traditional security paper.

USDA APHIS has included security measures in its Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking (PCIT) system to allow for any Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) issued from the United States to be verified and reduce the possibility for fraud.  All PCs issued by USDA APHIS include these security characteristics:

  • Generated through a secure, role-based system;
  • Contain a unique certificate number located in the top center of the PC;
  • The United States Department of Agriculture Logo on the top right of the PC;
  • A North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) watermark in the lower center of the PC; and
  • A unique Quick Response (QR) Code located on the bottom left of the PC, which allows validation of PCs online.

APHIS also implemented a validation tool to verify the authenticity of PCs online using the PCIT Certificate Viewer at the following URL:

In addition, ePhytos are automatically sent for all consignments exported from the United States to any trading partner currently utilizing the IPPC HUB.  We look forward to additional trading partners joining the ePhyto system. 

APHIS is also further updating PCIT to facilitate the change to plain paper. For companies which utilize the Authorized Entity role, all PCs still need to be physically signed by the Authorized Certification Officials (ACOs).  All other companies will be able to print their approved phytosanitary certificates upon approval, as long as the ACO has their signature uploaded in PCIT. These companies will receive notifications through PCIT when their phytosanitary certificates are ready to print.  If the ACO does not have a signature uploaded, the phytosanitary certificate will still be printed by the ACO on plain paper, hand signed, and distributed like current practices. 

With the improved security and the growing use of ePhyto, the United States will print all Phytosanitary Certificates and Phytosanitary Certificates for Re-Export on plain paper starting January 1, 2022.  

Should you have any questions, please contact APHIS Export Services at: