The APPPC workshop on Building Understanding and Preparedness for Electronic Phytosanitary Certification was convened in Bangkok, Thailand from 28-30 October, 2014 with over 40 participants from 21 countries, the IPPC Secretariat and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. The event was one of the implementation activities of the APPPC work plan, which highlights implementation of ISPMs especially ISPM 6, 12, 14 and 15.
During the workshop participants shared their country’s status on the use of hard copy certificates, and systems developed to use electronic certificates in their countries as well as successes, challenges and emerging issues.
The workshop helped participants enhance their understanding of ePhyto in regulatory and technical issues through the updates on developments in harmonisation of phytosanitary certification and the opportunities for electronic data exchange during specific sessions which focused on issues such as harmonization of data requirements and transmission protocols, legislative, regulatory and infrastructure requirements as well as communication and capacity development requirements.
Participants also identified gaps and challenges in the development of ePhyto certification as well as areas of collaboration during discussions on the analytical result of pre-workshop survey. Additional topics, including potential benefits, obstacles, industry role, constraints to the Hub, elements of model legislation and elements of a generic system for ePhyto, etc. were addressed in detail.
A number of recommendations were proposed on possible follow up actions to countries, the APPPC, the IPPC Steering Group on ePhyto and the CPM. It was suggested to create an APPPC working group on ePhyto to coordinate the action plan in the region. It was agreed that the working group will be led by Australia with participation of several countries and it will begin to prepare initial arrangements, including coordination on the next set of actions. The work plan and members of the working group will be finalized at the next APPPC biennial session in 2015.