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  5. QB 18-116 Sugar Certificate Verification

QB 18-116 Sugar Certificate Verification


A recent review of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) transmission of Specialty Sugar Certificates and Certificates of Quota Eligibility (CQE) revealed that many certificates are still being applied to the incorrect programs. To alleviate this problem the certificate number must be reviewed prior to transmitting for quota processing. It is extremely important to remember World Trade Organization (WTO) sugar quotas are for fiscal year periods (F); Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and Trade Promotion Agreements (TPA) are for calendar year periods (C). All certificates have the same numbering format with 9 characters of letters (A) and numbers (N), ANAAAANNN. Please note; Specialty Sugar is not country specific, “AC” is annotated on the Sugar Certificate for Any Country.

Certificate Format:

  • First digit - “C” for Calendar year or “F” for Fiscal year
  • second -="" digit="" last="" number="" of="" year="">
  • Fourth and fifth digit- ISO Country code or “AC” for Specialty Sugar Certificate
  • Sixth digit- Sugar or Certificate type, (“C, G, S, or R”)*
  • Seventh to ninth digit- Serial number beginning with 101

* C is for CQE, G is for General Sugar, S is for Specialty Sugar and R is for Raw Sugar


The samples below for the 2014 sugar reporting period provides guidance, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has included verbiage annotating the valid classification for the appropriate sugar program:






The certificate number should be transmitted in ACE with the License Permit Certificate (LPC) code 21. ACE enhancements will to generate a reject message for correction if the certificate is used for the wrong programs. USDA Sugar Certificates are not required when Mexico is the country of origin; however, the LPC code for Mexican Sugar is 26 and requires a valid export license. Dominican Republic - Central American Free Trade Agreement sugar quota does not require a USDA Sugar Certificate. The certificate transmission is optional for Warehouse (entry type 21 and 22) but must be transmitted for the quota warehouse withdrawal (entry type 32 ). 

The over-quota duty rate should be reported in ACE as a 01 entry type (not Quota), with the appropriate harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) number without the Chapter 98 or 99 HTS number and certificate. Please refer to the HTS for applicable Safeguard duties classification.

Questions from the importing community regarding this electronic message should be referred to the local CBP port. Ports may refer their questions via email to

Last Modified: Dec 29, 2022