Posted on Mon, 23 Jan 2023, 10:19
© FAO/Vladimir Rodas
Rome, 17 January 2023. The ePhyto Solution of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) continued to reach new milestones with three million certificates exchanged since its pilot in 2017. ePhyto certificates are digital formats of paper phytosanitary certificates attesting that plants and plant products do not carry pests and diseases that could impede trade or threaten economies and the environment. This makes trade cheaper, faster and safer by eliminating fraud and bureaucracy often associated with producing and exchanging paper certificates.
Countries have been exchanging certificates on the ePhyto Hub, a central server, or through the Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS), a web-based system that allows countries to exchange digital certificates even without a national electronic system to produce, send and receive certificates. A total of 116 countries are on the system at the end of 2022, with 72 of these using the system to full production. Countries that have recently started exchanging ePhyto certificates include India, Pakistan, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
In addition, China is at the stage of conducting test exchanges with several countries including the United States and Chile. Ecuador is set to begin paperless exchanges while Canada and the United Kingdom are planning to begin exchanging ePhyto certificates in Spring.
The ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG), which represents various sectors provides advice to the IPPC Secretariat on the ePhyto Solution, as plans are underway to bring the next set of countries on board in 2023. To raise awareness and encourage more countries to adopt ePhyto, a 4th Global Symposium on ePhyto is being planned by the secretariat in consultation with partners including the IAG, the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the Standards and Trade Development Facility.