Trade Update • August 29, 2022 A
of September 25, 2022, CBP’s Electronic Certification System (cCert) will transition to an updated version, eCert 2.0. Moving forward, eCERT will become the sole method for participating in the eCERT process, and the transition to eCERT will not change the tariff-rate quota filing process or requirements.
The Electronic Certification System (eCERT) is a system that uses electronic data transmissions of information associated with a required export document, such as a license or certificate. It is used to ensure proper restraint levels are charged without being exceeded, while facilitating the administration of quotas.
eCERT 2.0 will include three new features that aim to enhance the existing system. These features will add additional validations to verify the authorized use of quota certificates:
- The eCERT system will be able to decrement the usage of quota certificates and prevent those certificates from being overused
- Participating countries will have enhanced querying capabilities, allowing them to query and track actual certificate usage
- A new Automated Broker Interface (ABI) query that enables importers to query their usage of quota certificates.
Why this Matters to Importers
When filing an entry summary with CBP, specific data elements are transmitted to CBP by the importer of record (or an authorized customs broker). These data elements must match eCERT data from the foreign country before an importer can claim applicable in-quota tariff rate of duty or the preferential duty rate under a tariff preference level (TPL).
Currently, Australia, Uruguay, New Zealand, and Argentina are approved for the use of eCERT for transmitting export certificates for certain beef entries subject to the tariff-rate quota. Additionally, Mexico is approved for the use of eCERT for transmitting certificates of eligibility for certain textile and apparel goods that are eligible for preferential treatment under a TPL.
How to Participate in eCert 2.0
To participate in eCERT 2.0, importers must provide the participating country with their Importer of Record (IOR) number in advance of filing an entry, and, in turn, the participating country will submit the IOR number as part of the eCERT transmission to CBP. The participating country will submit the IOR number as an additional data element of information within the single transmission message to eCERT 2.0.
CBP recommends that importers share the IOR numbers with their exporters in advance of September 25, 2022, to allow for participating countries to test the updated system with actual IOR numbers and avoid rejection of the transmission due to missing IOR numbers once eCERT 2.0 is deployed.