2021-25 - Horticulture Exports Program – In-transit cold treatment certification requirements for citrus exports to the USA in 2021

17 May 2021


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise industry of the in-transit cold treatment (ITCT) certification requirements for the export of citrus to the USA in 2021.

Summary of changes and key points

  • ITCT must start in Australia and finish prior to arrival in the USA.
  • Mixed consignments are not permitted for ITCT to the USA. Only the same species of fruit may be treated together.
  • Supervision of citrus ITCT to the USA must only be conducted by Authorised Officers (AOs) who have been trained and approved to implement the USDA requirements. If you are unsure if you have been approved for this activity, please contact Plant Export Training.
  • Assessment Services Group (ASG) will process lodgements within 3 business days for sea freight.

    Note: Times are based on receipt of complete and accurate documentation supplied at the time of lodging.


All citrus exported to the USA must comply with the standards stipulated in the workplan agreements between Australia and the USA.

The citrus workplan is available in the ‘Documents’ section of the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor). To access these documents, you must be a registered Micor Plants user.

Plant export inspection AO responsibilities

Exporter responsibilities

Exporters must meet the following documentation requirements:

  • Exporters must notify ASG via email, that their calibration certificate and supporting documents are available for verification in PEMS at the time of requesting their Request for Permit (RFP) authorisation.
  • Inspections for citrus ITCT exports to the USA should not be booked on Fridays when the vessel is leaving that weekend as this leaves insufficient time for processing.

Shipping company responsibilities

Shipping companies must meet the following documentation requirements:

  • Submit USDA PPQ 556 processing requests (including container numbers) at least two days before completion is required. For example, if completion is required by Friday or on the weekend, then the USDA PPQ 556 processing request should be submitted by COB Wednesday of that week.
  • Email a weekly ‘pre-alert/vessel summary report’ by close of business each Thursday, to ASG. This summary report must include the estimated date of vessel arrival and container details.
  • A list of the container numbers for which data is being submitted must be included within the body of the email.
  • Emails to ASG must state in the subject line, one of the following options:
    • For RFP authorisation, include “Authorisation RFP [RFP number] – Horticulture [Date of Departure]; Sea”, in the email subject line.
    • For shipping notification Pre-alert, include “USDA 556 ITCT – [Vessel name] – Pre-Alert”, in the email subject line.
    • For shipping notifications USDA PPQ 556 ITCT Processing Request, include “USDA 556 ITCT – [Vessel name]”, in the email subject line.
    • For consignment issues, include “USDA 556 ITCT – [RFP number, Container number] – Consignment issue”, in the email subject line.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email Horticulture Exports.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

Last reviewed: 17 May 2021
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