Electronic Phytosanitary Certification (ePhyto)



Step One: Get prepared
For a country to participate in the Hub, it must have a system capable of producing electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos).

To ensure correct preparation to connect to the hub, we recommend for the country representatives to read all relevant documents concerning Technical Information. The participation of the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) is validated by the Official IPPC Contact Point of the Contracting Party. Prior to Step Two, the representative of the NPPO intending to register for the hub should contact the Official Contact Point to alert them that they will be receiving an automated message from the Hub requiring them to confirm the registration.

N.B: Should you require official confirmation of participation, please write to the IPPC (ippc@fao.org) and we will be happy to provide an official letter.

Step Two: Registration
A representative of the NPPO should initiate registration by clicking on the following link; https://www.ephytoexchange.org/AdminConsole and selecting the ‘Register NPPO’ tab.

Upon completing the registration steps and once the Official IPPC Contact Point validates the registration, the representative will receive a registration confirmation email. Should s/he not receive such an email we advise that you reach out to the IPPC (ippc@fao.org) for further guidance.

This representative will be the contact person for the IPPC and UNICC for technical issues on the Hub and will be responsible for the hub account. S/he will be the initial system administrator and will grant access to others in the organization

Step Three: Onboarding
Once registration has been confirmed, the NPPO representative will receive all relevant on-boarding documents such as the onboarding guide and the web service Application Programming Interface (API) document. These documents will guide the registrant and her/his team in implementing the hub. It outlines clearly the next steps and the type of assistance that will be made available.

If you wish to download this guide Click Here

The Timeline of the IPPC ePhyto Solution enter image description here

Click here to link to a downloadable image.

The ePhyto team of the IPPC Secretariat has developed a beginner’s guide to the ePhyto Solution. Presented in a clear and simple manner the guide presents all the information you need to know about ePhyto and how it works. The document can be viewed by clicking here.

ePhyto is short for “electronic phytosanitary certificate”. An ePhyto is the electronic version of a phytosanitary certificate in XML format. All the information contained in a paper phytosanitary certificate is also in the ePhyto. ePhytos can be exchanged electronically between countries or the data printed out on paper. ePhytos should be produced in accordance with ISPM 12 including Appendix 1.

Since 2011, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) has encouraged advancement of electronic certification. CPM-9 approved Appendix 1 to ISPM 12. The appendix describes the format and contents of electronic phytosanitary certificates and their exchange between NPPOs and also references harmonized codes and schema.

To continue the development of ePhyto, CPM-8 established an ePhyto Steering Group (SG). The SG became responsible for increasing the understanding and awareness of ePhyto, supporting its implementation and assisting in the development of systems to support electronic phytosanitary exchange. The ePhyto SG consists of representation from 6 FAO regions and the IPPC Secretariat is seeking the participation of the remaining region. A member of the CPM Bureau also participates on the SG along with Secretariat support.

The SG supported the development of an independent study on the feasibility of an electronic hub that could facilitate the transfer of electronic certificates between national plant protection organizations. CPM-9 (2014) reviewed the ePhyto Hub Feasibility Study and encouraged the SG to urgently continue its work in preparing for the development of an ePhyto hub. The SG, under the oversight of the CPM Bureau has continued to:

  • Increase awareness and understanding of electronic phytosanitary certification (ePhyto);
  • Explore and progress capacity development opportunities;
  • Prepare for the development of an ePhyto hub, and
  • Consider implementation issues associated with creating an ePhyto hub

Information on ePhyto can be found by following the links below and to the right. Any additional information may also be obtained by contacting the IPPC Secretariat (ippc@fao.org).

Benefits of a globally harmonized approach for ePhyto through an international hub:

  • globally harmonized approach for for electronic phytosanitary certification (ePhyto) in accordance with an adopted International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 12 Phytosanitary Certificates;
  • reduced potential for fraudulent certificates;
  • reduced data entry and validation activities by national plant protection organizations (NPPO) improving efficiencies;
  • improved security in the transmission of certificates when compared with paper certificates;
  • efficiencies in arrival and clearance of plants and plant products at the point of entry;
  • reduced delays in receiving replacement phytosanitary certificates when required;
  • use of existing systems in facilitating electronic certification reduces development costs;
  • avoids bilateral agreements required for direct NPPO to NPPO transfer of electronic certificates;
  • potential to link with the World Customs Organization “Single Window” initiative and to harmonize codes and processes; and
  • use of harmonized international e-business standards between governments (UN/CEFACT).
Doc # Title Files Publication date
1 Electronic certification (ePhyto), history and developments En 10 Sep 2012
2 A Global ePhyto Feasibility Study En 12 Feb 2015
4 ePhyto Hub - Frequently Asked Questions En 19 Feb 2015
6 Factsheets Link 05 Feb 2016
13 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) - Workshop on Implementation of e-SPS and Automation for Agriculture Trade Facilitation Link 09 Jan 2017
5 Standards and Trade Development Facility Project (STDF/PG/504) Link 17 Jan 2017
3 A Beginner’s Guide to the IPPC ePhyto Solution En 21 Feb 2018
7 ePhyto technical documents Link 01 Jun 2015
8 ePhyto timeline En 19 Apr 2018
12 Report on the pilot of the hub En 25 May 2018
11 Policy on Use of the ePhyto Solution - DRAFT En 06 Jun 2018
9 Hub Requirements En 06 Jun 2018
Guide to Joining the ePhyto Hub En 14 Jun 2018
10 Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) Requirements En 06 Jun 2018

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