Plant health: Harmonizing global phytosanitary measures, paperless trade

(L-R): C.Fedchock, K.Lee, Dr. Xia (IPPC Secretary)

This week the IGTC attended the IPPC’s annual “Committee on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM)” which brought together 183 governments at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.

The IGTC signalled the grain trade’s ongoing commitment to engagement with the IPPC at the event. Contact was made with a number of governments including the African Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, UK, Ukraine and USA.

Critical to the IGTC’s mission to achieve a market and regulatory environment supportive of the international trade of grain, oilseeds, pulses and derived products, there was debate on the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) on grain; principles for commodity and pathway standards; and the progress of the ePhyto initiative. 

The ePhyto pilot has now seen 11,000 certificates exchanged through the testing environment, according to figures from the IPPC. From the perspective of National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs), there have been minimal technical issues with the system itself, though more time and collaboration across governmental authorities are needed to fully implement the harmonization with ePhyto schema. A new “Beginner’s Guide” to ePhytos has now been published by the IPPC, here

Next steps
: The IGTC will attend the next Industry Advisory Group (IAG) in July, 2018 in Rome. During this meeting, industry representatives will receive an update on the pilot project, and have the chance to report any findings from their own testing of ePhyto implementation. The objective is to work with specific traders in an effort to see what the benefits are of ePhyto implementation. The governing bodies of the ePhyto project hope that cooperation with industry will inform a larger effort on cost-benefit analysis.

International phytosanitary standard on grain: IGTC members and Corporate Stakeholders on the ISPM Policy Team will be invited to evaluate the outcomes of the meeting under the leadership of Policy Team Lead Gerard McMullen (Grain Trade Australia). Grain trade representatives wishing to join the Policy Team should contact the IGTC Secretariat