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Member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation on the road to adopting the IPPC ePhyto Solution

Posted on Mon, 09 Oct 2023, 06:57

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©Uzbekistan Agency for Plant Protection and Quarantine/ Muradkhujaev Jalolkhuja

Rome, 18 September 2023. Member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) are taking strides to facilitate safe trade of plants and plant products by digitalizing phytosanitary certification, adopting the IPPC ePhyto Solution and learning from each other. The IPPC ePhyto Solution is an innovative tool that allows issuance of digital phytosanitary certificates, making exchanging phytosanitary information between importing and exporting countries quicker, more reliable and less prone to error or fraud. CAREC countries are prioritizing information-sharing to facilitate adoption of electronic phytosanitary certification and to integrate their national single window certification processes into the IPPC ePhyto Solution. This was the focus of the CAREC conference on electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) held from 11-13 September 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The conference, hosted by the Agency of Plant Protection and Quarantine of the Republic of Uzbekistan and co-organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), was part of the trade digitalization initiative under the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030.

Participants were from national plant protection organizations (NPPOs), customs and trade-related agencies from 10 of the 11 CAREC member countries, namely Azerbaijan, People's Republic of China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

During the conference, China, Georgia and Pakistan, which are testing the IPPC ePhyto Solution, committed to sharing their insights and lessons learned with other participating countries, particularly Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The latter countries are in the process of registering to access the Hub, to enable them to utilize their own IT systems to issue and receive ePhytos or to use the Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS). Uzbekistan, which shared its success story and lessons from implementing the IPPC ePhyto Solution, encouraged member states that had not yet adopted it to accelerate their progress. By the end of the year, the IPPC Secretariat will make the GeNS available in Russian, among other languages, to increase adoption of the ePhytos.

Presentations by the IPPC Secretariat, the United Nations International Computing Center and the European Commission on the digitalization of phytosanitary certification emphasized the primary role of NPPOs in phytosanitary certification, the functioning and benefits of the IPPC ePhyto Solution.

"As of today, 127 countries including four out of the 11 CAREC member countries, have adopted the IPPC ePhyto Solution. This demonstrates the value of this tool and how successful it is," said Osama El-Lissy, IPPC Secretary." Industry and private sector speakers from ePhyto Industry Advisory Group, International Seed Federation, InterCommerce Network Services, Pan-Asian E-Commerce Alliance, Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation of the World Economic Forum, highlighted significant benefits for exporters and importers, from using more efficient and reliable boarder processes.

To support the CAREC community's next steps, development and technical partners at the conference, including ADB, GIZ, Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), USAID, World Bank, the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) and the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, were invited to support countries currently implementing the IPPC ePhyto Solution and those willing to do so in the next few months. “This conference was a significant achievement towards further adoption of the IPPC ePhyto Solution in Central Asia and an extraordinary platform to strengthen the partnership among all stakeholders in digital phytosanitary certification,” said Dominique Menon, IPPC ePhyto Program Officer.

Related information:

Websites: The IPPC ePhyto Solution; ephytoexchange.org

Brochure: The IPPC ePhyto Solution - Investing in trade facilitation

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