USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that it will

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that it will conduct annual certification visits in peak harvesting time to offshore greenhouse facilities that wish to ship eligible generally admissible unrooted plant cuttings as part of the Offshore Greenhouse Certification Program (OGCP) during the 2021-2022. Interested facilities must meet the program’s minimum standards for greenhouse construction, security, production and sanitation, pest management, training, and recordkeeping described in the Offshore Greenhouse Certification Program Framework.

Participating facilities agree to produce generally admissible unrooted plant cuttings under a systems approach to reduce pest and disease risks. In turn, shipments produced and exported under this program may receive a reduced frequency of inspections at U.S. plant inspection stations, helping to expedite clearance and entry.

APHIS intends to physically visit and certify all interested offshore facilities before March 1, 2022. Participating facilities must cover the full cost of these certification visits, including travel, salary, benefits, and overtime. The facilities will provide these funds through a trust fund established through a signed cooperative services agreement.

If you are interested in scheduling a certification visit, please send official correspondence via the National Plant Protection Organization of the exporting country to APHIS by October 29, 2021. For questions or further information please refer to the OGCP’s website, the Frequently Asked Questions document or contact Dr. Karelyn Cruz, Offshore Certification Specialist (Karelyn.cruz@usda.gov).

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