The 3rd IPPC Global Symposium on ePhyto was held from 22-26 January 2108 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the Theme “ePhyto and Trade Facilitation”. The Symposium was jointly organized by the IPPC Secretariat, the Malaysian Department of Agriculture, the Asia & Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC), and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Dr. Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary, delivered an opening address; Dr. Yongfan Piao, the Executive Secretary of the APPPC, made opening remarks; and Mr. Abdul Bin Daut, the Deputy Director General of the Malaysian Department of Agriculture, presented a welcome address. Eighty-six participants from 36 countries and 20 international or regional associations attended the Symposium.
The objectives and outcomes of the 3rd IPPC Global Symposium on ePhyto were to share the information so as to increase the awareness and readiness to promote implementation of the IPPC ePhyto solution; to make in depth analysis on the challenges and opportunities for implementation of the IPPC ePhyto solution; and to get a clear direction and the way forward for implementation of the IPPC ePhyto solution.
As the theme of the Symposium is ePhyto and Trade Facilitation, the focus was made on practical implementation information related to the IPPC hub and the generic ePhyto national system (GeNS) and how the implementation of the IPPC ePhyto Solution can support the benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). It is well known that the TFA is a key element in improving safe trade and the implementation of the IPPC ePhyto Solution can be an important component in improving border efficiencies, increased border coordination between border agencies and the implementation of risk-based measures.
The Symposium heard a number of presentations from technical and phytosanitary certification experts on the operation, benefits and processes for implementing the IPPC ePhyto Solution. Participants also participated in workshop sessions on the operation on the IPPC hub, the proposed operation of the generic ePhyto national system (GeNS) and the business reengineering required to support implementation. Participants were very pleased with the information received and commented that this 3rd Symposium built upon the past successes of two previous Symposia held in the Republic of Korea, which laid the important foundations for understanding the concepts of ePhyto.
In his concluding remarks, the IPPC Secretary Xia noted the 3rd IPPC Global Symposium on ePhyto was completed with a huge success, being good participation, wonderful organization, and excellent facilitation, presentation and interaction. Dr. Xia expressed his sincere gratitude to the Malaysian Department of Agriculture for hosting the Symposium, to the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for providing the financial support, to the APPPC for co-organizing the Symposium. He also extended his thanks to the International Grain Trade Association, the International Seed Federation and the European Potato Trade Association for financially supporting the Symposium.
Finally, Dr. Xia commented “without these important sponsors, the Symposium could not have occurred and the important knowledge transfer, particularly to developing countries, could not have occurred. Though there is still a long way to go to establish paperless certification for plants and plant products, this milestone Symposium is an important step in the process.”
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