WASHINGTON – In a virtual groundbreaking ceremony on October 7, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as well as the Uruguayan Ambassador, the National Meat Institute of Uruguay and the Ministry of Agriculture of Uruguay celebrated the implementation of the electronic certification system (eCERT) for the transmission of beef export certificate data.

From left to right: Executive Director Jim Byram,
Interim Executive Director Brandon Lord,
Assistant Commissioner Debbie Seguin,
Uruguayan Ambassador Andrés Durán,
Assistant Deputy Commissioner John Leonard, and
Uruguayan customs attaché Alejandro Rodríguez.

CBP Executive Deputy Commissioner (DEAC) John Leonard. in Washington, DC, opened the event by attributing the successful launch of eCert to the hard work and collaboration between the United States and Uruguay. “This ceremony serves to underline the strong and special relationship between Uruguay and CBP which makes international trade safer and more predictable,” said DEAC Leonard.

Mr. Fernando Mattos, Minister of Agriculture in Montevideo, Uruguay, spoke about the challenges they faced in getting the pre eCert to early transmissions. “We hope to be able to continue to work 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 Business 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 quota administration and ensure that appropriate quantity limits are billed without being exceeded. ACE is a system by which the trading community reports imports and exports and the government uses to determine eligibility.

The advantages of eCert are the instant processing of certificate identification data, secure transmissions protecting the certificate confidentially, preventing the introduction of fraudulent certificates, decrementing certificates, monitoring the documents of the exporting country and improving compliance and enforcement of quotas.

Uruguay’s participation in the eCERT process complies with the US tariff rate quota for beef exported from Uruguay for import to the United States, in accordance with 19 CFR Part 152. This helps the United States to ensure compliance and enforcement use of imported beef quotas, and helps ensure that only authorized entities have access to TRQs.

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

Uruguay’s participation in eCert is the direct result of the fruitful collaboration between our governments in favor of fair trade.

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