Trade between Brazil and US / comércio entre Brasil e EUA
Trade Regulations

Brazilian Exporters to Benefit from Electronic Phytosanitary Certificate for US-bound Shipments

Nov, 09, 2023 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202342

In a significant move expected to streamline processes, reduce bureaucracy, and cut costs, exporters of plant-based products to the United States, primarily fruits, will gain access to a new tool starting next year. The electronic phytosanitary certificate (e-phyto), issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Mapa), is set to be fully implemented in the first quarter of 2024.

The announcement was made on Monday (6/11) by Tatiana Prazeres, the Secretary of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade, and Services (Secex-MDIC), following the 21st Plenary Session of the Brazil-US Commercial Dialogue in Brasília.

Prazeres highlighted the e-phyto as a concrete solution that has been aiding in building agreements, regulatory convergences, and trade facilitation instruments since 2006.

“The e-phyto originated from discussions within the Brazil-US Commercial Dialogue. It was here that we developed a pilot experience for implementing these certificates,” noted the Secretary.

Once fully disseminated and available, the new tool will streamline thousands of transactions. According to Secex, around 4,500 phytosanitary certificates were issued to the US in 2022 alone. Brazil exported 135,000 tons of fruits to the US in the same year, totaling US$165 million.

The chart below, developed consulting DataLiner data, shows the top fruit export groups from Brazil to the US.

Top Fruit Exports to USA | Jan 2023 – Sep 2023 | TEU

Source: DataLiner (click here to request a demo)

In addition to removing physical paperwork, the electronic certificate will be recognized and validated immediately by US regulatory authorities. This eliminates the need for exporters to send paper documents, saving money and reducing the risk of loss, misuse, or forgery. This ensures that the goods arrive at their destination having already been cleared. According to Secex, this clearance can take two to four days in paper-based processes.

According to Secex, digital phytosanitary certificates are already standard in commercial relations between major world markets, such as the European Union, China, and the United States. Brazil will inaugurate the instrument in its exchanges with the US and later expand it to other partners.


Tatiana coordinated the 21st plenary session on the Brazilian side, and Marisa Lago, the US Deputy Trade Representative, on the American side. The working groups met in the morning at the MDIC headquarters, followed by a briefing on progress by Tatiana and Marisa Lago to a business audience at the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) headquarters in the afternoon.

In her presentation, Tatiana described the bilateral mechanism as robust and resilient. “Come rain or shine, it maintains the ability to adapt, transform, and evolve over time,” she said.

She emphasized the importance of private sector participation in the mechanism. “This dialogue works because it is grounded, pragmatic, technical, and results-focused. The clearer we are about the priorities of the private sector, the more this mechanism can work to deliver meaningful results for those seeking to strengthen, expand, and broaden trade relations between the two countries.”

The Secretary provided an overview of discussions in the working groups, highlighting the groups on Trade Facilitation and Commercial Promotion, Regulatory Best Practices, Digital Economy, and the newly created Trade and Sustainable Development Working Group.

On the latter topic, she stressed that sustainability needs to be viewed in its three dimensions: environmental, economic, and social. She cautioned against the creation of unnecessary barriers. “We must work to ensure that trade and the environment complement each other.”

In her remarks, Marisa Lago also praised the strength of the bilateral mechanism and its concrete deliverables, highlighting the work of the Intellectual Property Working Group.

Source: Informativo dos Portos

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