Changes Coming to the USDA Plant and Seed Import Permits System

Started by Bern, May 01, 2022, 07:01:15 AM

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I received the following email from a USDA plant and seed import specialist on April 28th.  I include it here to give PBS members in the USA with a USDA plant and/or seed import permit advance notice (in case you weren't already aware) that changes are soon to come.  The current ePermits system is being replaced with a new eFile system.  Amendments to the current system will soon no longer be allowed.  Furthermore, all permits will have to transition to the new eFile system in the fairly near future.  Hopefully the new eFile system will be easier to use.  The full text of the USDA email follows from here......
As a courtesy, I have processed your application P587-220424-001 and amended your permit (P37-20-02618). This permit is still active and expires on 10/13/2023. However, once ePermits is taken offline, you will no longer be able to Amend this permit.
Please be aware that ePermits has been replaced with our new and automated eFile permitting system. ePermits is being taken offline and will be decommissioned in the coming months; however, we don't have an exact date of when that will occur. Once ePermits is officially taken offline, stakeholder (such as yourself) will no longer have access to the system or be able to submit amendment applications into ePermits.  Additionally, our permitting specialists will also lose access and will not be able to process any submitted amendment applications within the older, replaced ePermits system. Currently, our specialists are no longer able to RENEW permits or issue NEW permits in the ePermits system. Permits that were issued in the older ePermits system are not available or accessible in the new eFile automated permitting system. Your permit will not transfer over to eFile.
APHIS recommends that applicants log into eFile and create a new account, if he/she hasn't already done so. Your eAuthentication credentials (current user name and password) should still be valid and the link to create a new account in the eFile system is as follows:  (Note: you should also see a link to eFile when you log into your ePermits account)
Once you have created your new account in eFile, you will be able to apply for a NEW permit for your future import needs (again, any permit that was issued in the replaced ePermits system will NOT be available or accessible in eFile). Permits generated and issued within eFile will be eligible for any subsequent and necessary amendments – as well as for Renewal, when eligible. We appreciate your patience while we are updating our customer service portal. Thank You.
For questions, please call 877-770-5990.


One additional thought on this subject.......  If you have been contemplating amending your existing permits, now would be a good time to do this.  Your existing permit will be honored by USDA APHIS until the expiration date.  However, at some point in time in the not too distant future, USDA APHIS will no longer allow amending your existing permit and you will be forced to open a new permit under the new system.  If you are in a crunch situation, this could cause a bit of frustration and angst.  The APHIS inspector who just amended my permit stated that he did it "as a courtesy."  Forewarned is forearmed!
Bern in Williamsburg