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Posted on Fri, 02 Apr 2021, 13:09

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©FAO/ Max Valencia

Rome, 28 March 2021. The ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) held their annual meeting virtually to discuss the progress and status of the IPPC ePhyto Solution. The annual meeting was chaired by IAG Co-Chairs Ms Rose Souza Richards (International Seed Federation), and Ms Alejandra Danielson Castillo (International Grain Trade Coalition/ U.S. Grains Council).

Established to provide guidance to the IPPC Secretariat on trade facilitation, the group includes leaders of international Nongovernment Organizations (NGO) representing the global grains, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, wood products and cotton industries as well as the IPPC Secretariat and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. During the meeting, the IAG discussed the latest developments and objectives for future industry connections with the ePhyto Solution.

A key component for the IAG Industry representatives is to conduct case studies to measure the operational effectiveness and feasibility of the ePhyto on physical trade. They can do this by identifying shipments to be involved and analyze the commercial, Customs, and regulatory impacts of implementing the ePhyto Solution on physical commodity trade flows. Results from industry case studies will be used to improve the functioning of the Solution, as well as to provide guidance as trade moves forward with electronic documents and paperless execution.

To date, 41 case studies have taken place with participation from the grains and seed industry, whose case studies have used maritime vessel, truck, and rail shipments. The initial findings of the case studies revealed that the frequent use of ePhyto demonstrated smoother trade execution processes that engaged stakeholders within the supply chain. However, they are also consistently highlighting the need for greater communication on how ePhyto is executed, when and how it is received, and who needs to be notified.

Another priority area for the IAG in 2021, as highlighted by the co-chairs, is to host and engage in national ePhyto Industry workshops, supported by the IPPC Secretariat. The objective of these workshops is to help facilitate conversations between importers, exporters, trade associations and NPPO’s on the mutual benefits of adopting the IPPC ePhyto Solution. The first virtual workshop with the Bahamas is tentatively scheduled for the 12 April 2021, followed by a workshop with the Republic of Korea on 14 April 2021.

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

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