Electronic Phytosanitary Certification (ePhyto)

ePhyto is short for “electronic phytosanitary certificate”. An ePhyto is the electronic version of a phytosanitary certificate in XML format. All the information contained in a paper phytosanitary certificate is also in the ePhyto. ePhytos can be exchanged electronically between countries or the data printed out on paper. ePhytos should be produced in accordance with ISPM 12 including Appendix 1.

Since 2011, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) has encouraged advancement of electronic certification. CPM-9 approved Appendix 1 to ISPM 12. The appendix describes the format and contents of electronic phytosanitary certificates and their exchange between NPPOs and also references harmonized codes and schema.

To continue the development of ePhyto, CPM-8 established an ePhyto Steering Group (SG). The SG became responsible for increasing the understanding and awareness of ePhyto, supporting its implementation and assisting in the development of systems to support electronic phytosanitary exchange. The ePhyto SG consists of representation from 6 FAO regions and the IPPC Secretariat is seeking the participation of the remaining region. A member of the CPM Bureau also participates on the SG along with Secretariat support.

The SG supported the development of an independent study on the feasibility of an electronic hub that could facilitate the transfer of electronic certificates between national plant protection organizations. CPM-9 (2014) reviewed the ePhyto Hub Feasibility Study and encouraged the SG to urgently continue its work in preparing for the development of an ePhyto hub. The SG, under the oversight of the CPM Bureau has continued to:

  • Increase awareness and understanding of electronic phytosanitary certification (ePhyto);
  • Explore and progress capacity development opportunities;
  • Prepare for the development of an ePhyto hub, and
  • Consider implementation issues associated with creating an ePhyto hub

Information on ePhyto can be found by following the links below and to the right. Any additional information may also be obtained by contacting the IPPC Secretariat (ippc@fao.org).

Benefits of a globally harmonized approach for ePhyto through an international hub:

  • globally harmonized approach for for electronic phytosanitary certification (ePhyto) in accordance with an adopted International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 12 Phytosanitary Certificates;
  • reduced potential for fraudulent certificates;
  • reduced data entry and validation activities by national plant protection organizations (NPPO) improving efficiencies;
  • improved security in the transmission of certificates when compared with paper certificates;
  • efficiencies in arrival and clearance of plants and plant products at the point of entry;
  • reduced delays in receiving replacement phytosanitary certificates when required;
  • use of existing systems in facilitating electronic certification reduces development costs;
  • avoids bilateral agreements required for direct NPPO to NPPO transfer of electronic certificates;
  • potential to link with the World Customs Organization “Single Window” initiative and to harmonize codes and processes; and
  • use of harmonized international e-business standards between governments (UN/CEFACT).
Заголовок Файлы Publication date
Global ePhyto Solution En 01 Мар 2016
Presentation on Technical background En
Electronic certification (ePhyto), history and developments En 10 Сен 2012
Hub service explanation for non-IT experts En 11 Фев 2015
Hub service explanation for everyone En 11 Фев 2015
Report from the APPPC ePhyto Working Group to CPM10 En 11 Фев 2015
A Global ePhyto Feasibility Study En 12 Фев 2015
ePhyto: hub vs. secure letter flowchart En 13 Фев 2015
ePhyto Hub - Frequently Asked Questions En 19 Фев 2015
Factsheets Link 05 Фев 2016
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) - Workshop on Implementation of e-SPS and Automation for Agriculture Trade Facilitation Link 09 Янв 2017
ePhyto Technical documents Link 01 Июн 2015
ePhyto Project Governance En 05 Июл 2016
Standards and Trade Development Facility Project (STDF/PG/504) Link 17 Янв 2017

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