ePhyto Industry Advisory Group held eighth virtual meeting with New Zealand and Australia

Posted on Wed, 28 Sep 2022, 11:11

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Rome, 28 September 2022. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) held the eighth of a series of ePhyto industry workshops, hosted virtually by New Zealand and Australia on 28th July 2022. The workshop aimed to facilitate conversations among exporters, trade associations and national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) on the benefits of adopting the IPPC ePhyto solutions.

The workshop series is organized by the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) with support from the IPPC Secretariat. Attended by more than 60 participants, the workshop hosted by New Zealand and Australia included representatives from government, the private sector, trade associations, and members of the IPPC ePhyto Steering Group (ESG).

The workshop included several presentations on the IPPC ePhyto Solution from the IAG, the ESG, and the NPPO of New Zealand and Australia, which provided update on the progress of their ePhyto exchanges for imports and exports.
The representatives from the Australian government, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), provided an update on the implementation of ePhyto in Australia and elsewhere in the South-West Pacific. Australia’s National System for imports is connected and able to receive ePhytos from other trading partners exchanging via the Hub Production environment. This success is a result of testing and feedback with colleagues in the United States, Fiji, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. Australia’s National System for exports is undergoing some system updates to enable ePhytos to be sent to the Hub by 2023. Australia will notify trading partners who are able to assist in testing the exchange of messages in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) as first steps.

The representatives from the New Zealand government, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provided an update on the implementation of ePhyto. The MPI developed a prototype data exchange module in 2018. The data exchange module interfaces with the MPI ePhyto application and with the IPPC Hub. Subsequently, enhancements have been made to: Improve robustness and security; Improve alignment with IPPC mapping documents; and Increase functionality (digital signatures for EU, SPS acknowledgements, attachments for re-export certs). New Zealand shared that it has benefited from the adoption ePhyto. Some of these benefits include faster border clearance (ePhytos available before product arrives); efficiencies at New Zealand border, especially with fewer physical interactions with original documents; greater confidence in authenticity of the information (less verification required of security features); and reduced inventory, lower cost related to product held at port, and greater certainty of good quality product available.

The IAG will continue to host similar workshops between NPPOs and industry groups in 2022 while helping foster relationships between NPPOs and local industry. It will also initiate discussions on the status of implementation and how the system works by country, with continued support from the IPPC Secretariat to enhance communication and collaboration in implementing the IPPC ePhyto Solution.

Various NPPOs have been taking turns in hosting each workshop to share their experiences in implementing ePhyto, and to engage and share information with the industry. The first of the series was held virtually by the Republic of Korea in April 2021 while succeeding workshops were hosted virtually by the Dominican Republic, the Commonwealth of Bahamas, the Republic of Costa Rica, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Colombia, and Guatemala. The next workshop will take place on 10th October 2022 and will be held virtually in the Philippines.

To find out more on the IPPC ePhyto Solution please visit www.ephytoexchange.org

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