ePhyto Industry workshops: 2021 virtual global tour continues with success

IGTC via its co-leadership of the ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) has the opportunity to participate in meetings with National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) in 2021 to further the implementation of ePhyto in as many countries around the world as possible, and identify ways that the Solution can better serve the grain trade.

Members of the IGTC's Working Group on Electronic Trading Documentation are being informed about future opportunities and given the chance to support with regional and national representation of the grain trade at the events. Attendees at the meetings include representatives of NPPOs, the IAG and the IPPC Secretariat.

Three workshops have been held so far: with Bahamas (2nd June), Republic of Korea (14th April) and Dominican Republic (4th May), with the latter attracting an audience of more than 350 national stakeholders and partners.

Outcomes Bahamas meeting 2nd June:

  • It is expected that the Bahamas NPPO (BAHFSA) will go to “live” and start exchanging ePhytos with the USA initially in June- July 2021.
  • A "one port at a time" approach is likely given the geography of Bahamas - number of islands and ports of entry.
  • BAHFSA is currently training persons to act as authorized officers on various islands to perform phytosanitary duties.
  • Better collaboration between industry and BAHFSA as the NPPO is required. 

Outcomes Dominican Republic meeting 4th May:

  • 385 people attended the workshop with the Dominican Republican on the 4th May 2021
  • Members of Trade Associations for Grains, Seed and Cocoa Federation, Private Sector, NPPOs of the Dominican Republican, Argentina and New Zealand among others attended this event.
  • The Dominican Republican NPPO has so far tested 469 electronic certificates with USDA.
  • The Dominican Republican (DR) NPPO is working together with other NPPOs such as Argentina for implementation.
  • Virtual and in-person meetings have taken place, but also with other organizations.
  • A number of members of the private sector are expressing their interest in participating in training sessions.
  • Next steps are to connect customs authorities, importers, exporters and brokers.
  • Dialogue is underway with company representatives, inspectors and authorities. The NPPO is assured that the technical capacity is sufficient to implement ePhyto.
  • The guidance and agreements coming from the IPPC are important in this process.

Outcomes Korea meeting 14th April:

  • The Korean Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) announced that it intends to exchange electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhytos) for all commodities beginning in May 2021 with the US, and will gradually extend implementation with a number of countries, including Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) countries (Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guatemala) in the coming months.
  • The NPPO was highly complementary of the opportunities that ePhyto represents for facilitating trade in plants and plant products and stressed that no paper certificate is required for imports when using the ePhyto Solution.
  • Industry Advisory Group representatives offered to work together with the Republic of Korea to provide information to their Korean industry members on the launching of the Korean ePhyto national system for commercial ePhyto exchanges.
  • The IAG is also planning to host a number of similar workshops between NPPOs and industry groups throughout 2021 to enhance communication and collaborations on the implementation of the IPPC ePhyto Solution.

To find out more on the IPPC ePhyto Solution please visit: www.ephytoexchange.org