Posted on Tue, 26 Jul 2022, 13:58
Rome, 20 July 2022. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) held the seventh of a series of ePhyto industry workshops, virtually hosted by the Republic of Guatemala on 12 July. The workshop aimed to facilitate conversation among exporters, trade association and national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) on the benefits of adopting the IPPC ePhyto solution.
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 in Guatemala included representatives from government, the private sector, trade associations and members of the IPPC ePhyto Steering Group (ESG).
It included a number of presentations on the IPPC ePhyto Solution from the IAG, the ESG, and the NPPO of Guatemala to discuss their comprehensive agricultural and environmental protection programme, or the Programa Integral de Protección Agrícola y Ambiental (PIPAA).
Guatemala has seen a constant growth in trade, with 48 000 tonnes of agricultural products exported when the country began exchanging ePhyto in August 2021 through the PIPAA programme. The country has also been exchanging ePhyto across products including fresh fruits and vegetables, plants and seed commodities using the Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS), a web-based system that allows countries to exchange ePhytos and trade with partners via the Global Hub, even with limited information technology.
In the first half of 2022, 95 percent of Guatemala’s certificate exchanges were ePhytos. The country is currently exchanging ePhytos with 30 countries around the world.
In addition, Guatemala has been initiating exchanges early this year with the European Union Trade Control and Expert System (EU TRACES), an online platform for sanitary and phytosanitary certification required for the importation of animals, animal products, food and feed and plants into EU.
Workshop participants emphasized the importance of communication and engagement between the public and private sector. PIPAA Phytosanitary Specialist Mauricio Guzman noted the extensive trainings and tutorials that are available for users and welcomed any further opportunities for engagement. He further said that the ultimate goal is to have as many users as possible on the system.
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 current status of implementation and how the system works in a particular 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 share information and engage 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 and the Republic of Colombia.
The next workshop will take place on 28 July 2022 with Australia and New Zealand.