U.S. Customs expands agri cargo release program

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection has implemented the National Agriculture Release Program (NARP), a system that identifies high-volume agricultural imports known historically to be low-risk for exotic plant pests and plant diseases into the U.S.

These high-volume, low-risk commodities may be inspected by CBP agriculture specialists at reduced rates.

“NARP will expedite trade while protecting American agriculture,” said Jeffrey Grode, executive director of CBP’s Agriculture Program and Liaison Office. “NARP will allow CBP to adjust to rapidly changing risk profiles without compromising U.S. agriculture.”

NARP was previously known before the creation of CBP as the Border Cargo Release (BCR) program. BCR expedited the entry of high-volume, low-risk commodities entering from Mexico. NARP expands the BCR program to include agricultural commodities from other foreign countries. Approval to include an agricultural commodity in NARP is determined by the commodity and its country of origin and is applied at ports nationwide.

To be eligible for NARP, commercial shipments in the same unit must contain only commodities that have been approved for NARP.

The trade community may request the addition of a commodity in the program by writing to the local CBP port director. The request must include the common and scientific name of the commodity and the country of origin.

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