CBP and Uruguay held virtual ribbon cutting to launch eCert

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(Left to right) Executive Director Jim Byram, Acting Executive Director Brandon Lord, Assistant Commissioner Debbie Seguin, Uruguay Ambassador Andrés Durán, Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Leonard, and Uruguay Customs Attaché Alejandro Rodríguez.

WASHINGTON, USA — In a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 7, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along with the Ambassador of Uruguay, the National Meat Institute of Uruguay and the Uruguay ministry of agriculture celebrated the implementation of Electronic Certification System (eCERT) for the transmission of beef export certificate data.

CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner (DEAC) John Leonard in Washington, D.C., opened the event crediting the success of the eCert launch to the hard work and collaboration among the United States and Uruguay. “This ceremony serves to highlight the strong, special relationship between Uruguay and CBP that makes international trade more secure and predictable,” said DEAC Leonard.

Fernando Mattos, minister of agriculture in Montevideo, Uruguay, discussed the challenges they faced getting pre eCert to the first transmissions. “We hope we can continue working together to give stronger guarantees to the parties and to make this system more and more transparent,” said Mattos.

eCERT, a component of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), is a system developed by CBP that uses electronic data transmissions of information normally associated with a required export document, such as a license or certificate, to facilitate the administration of quotas and ensure that the proper quantity limits are charged without being exceeded. ACE is a system through which the trade community reports imports and exports and that the government uses to determine admissibility.

The benefits of eCert are instantaneous processing of certificate identification data, secure transmissions protecting certificate confidentially, a barrier to the introduction of fraudulent certificates, certificate decrementing, exporting country document monitoring, and improved quota compliance and enforcement.

Uruguay’s involvement in the eCERT process complies with the US tariff-rate quota for beef exported from Uruguay for importation into the United States, per 19 C.F.R. Part 152. This helps the United States ensure compliance and enforcement of imported beef quota usage, and helps ensure that only authorized entities have access to the tariff-rate quotas.

Certain data elements on an electronic submission in ACE for imported beef must match with the data elements in the eCERT transmission of an export certificate from Uruguay an importer to claim the in-tariff quota rate. For example, in ACE, an importer submits an entry for beef using a specific certificate number. The certificate number and the quantity must match what Uruguay sent to CBP via eCert.

Uruguay’s participation in eCert is a direct result of the successful collaboration between our governments promoting equitable trade.

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