Trade Facilitation

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Trade between countries drives economic development and many countries rely on exporting large quantities of agricultural and other plant products, such as fruit and vegetables or timber to sustain their economies. Other countries rely heavily on import of plant products such as staple crops to feed their population and need to assure themselves of adequate supplies while safeguarding their domestic agricultural production from pests and sustaining their ecosystem. Global trade offers unprecedented opportunities for plant pests to hitch a ride and potentially invade new areas. Therefore, it is important to facilitate trade but in a way that minimizes phytosanitary risks to either the importer or exporter.

Core to trade facilitation is the appropriate implementation of the IPPC and associated international standards. However, the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) cannot be appropriately implemented without the fundamental enabling environment created through the implementation of IPPC provisions. Once the foundations of a National Plant Protection Organization and legislative / regulatory framework for the NPPO are established, other component of a national phytosanitary system can be enabled. In addition, the appropriate use of use of new technologies, such as electronic phytosanitary certification, will facilitate trade while also ensuring that shipments of food and agricultural products do not pose pest risks.

The ISPMs are science-based and developed by IPPC contracting parties, and are recognized by the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), which aims to facilitate safe trade in food and agricultural products. ISPMs provide globally harmonized guidance for countries to minimize pest risk without creating unjustified barriers to trade, ultimately facilitating their exports and imports of plants and plant products. These standards include guidelines for Pest Risk Analysis (PRA), as the scientific basis for phytosanitary measures that are least restrictive to trade, or phytosanitary treatments to help ensure plant products are safe before entering another country.


2017 is the IPPC year of Plant Health and Trade Facilitation. In this context, the following activities have been organized at the global level:

  • Keynote speech of WCO Secretary-General at CPM-12 in Incheon: read the news here.

  • Special topic session on e-Commerce at CPM-12 in Incheon: read the news here.

  • Side event on Trade Facilitation and ePhyto at CPM-12 in Incheon: read the news here.

  • The IPPC-SPS Side Event on Trade Facilitation held in Geneva: read the news here.


Two videos have been produced on the theme:


Four video interviews were also published on the IPPC YouTube channel:

  • Video interview to Sheri Rosenow, WTO

  • Video interview to Bill Gain, World Bank

  • Video interview to Melvin Spreij, STDF

  • Video interview to Patricia Terán, Parlamento Andino


In addition, two seminars will be held in 2017:

A factsheet on Plant Health and Trade Facilitation will soon be available.

Title Files Publication date
IPPC Seminar Seminar #7 - Plant Health and Trade Facilitation - Presentation 1 En 12 Oct 2017
IPPC Seminar Seminar #7 - Plant Health and Trade Facilitation - Presentation 2 En 12 Oct 2017
IPPC Seminar Seminar #7 - Plant Health and Trade Facilitation - Presentation 3 En 12 Oct 2017
IPPC Seminar Seminar #7 - Plant Health and Trade Facilitation - Presentation 4 En 12 Oct 2017
IPPC Seminar Seminar #7 - Plant Health and Trade Facilitation - Presentation 5 En 12 Oct 2017
IPPC Seminar Seminar #8 - Plant Health Standards and Safe Trade Facilitation - Presentation 4 - Conclusion En
IPPC Seminar Seminar #8 - Plant Health Standards and Safe Trade Facilitation - Presentation 2 - Asia En

Download multiple files