IPPC ePhyto Solution: 2021-22 virtual global workshop 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 2022 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.

Grain trade representatives should write to secretariat@igtcglobal.org for further information

Next workshops: NPPO of Morocco, and focus on SE Asia, TBC 2022


Outcomes of Colombia meeting 25 February

The Colombia workshop held virtually provided opportunity for the ePhyto IAG to reaffirm its commitment to making the exchange of phytosanitary certificates faster, more secure, and more supportive of the global trade of plant products.


Outcomes China meeting 2nd September:

This ePhyto workshop was a great success with over 90 participants. The audience included the Deputy DG of the Chinese National Agro-Technical Extension and Service Center (NATESC), and many governmental and private industry representatives from all continents including representatives from the European Union and members of the IGTC constituency.
At present, China has real-time exchange with four countries (New Zealand, the Netherlands, Australia and Chili) and has received more than 1.62 million e-certificates from these countries. The next step is to get the two systems compliant for a two-way exchange. It should be noted that China still maintains the bilateral exchanges based on the signed e-certificate cooperation agreements. China will agree with each of its trading partners what is the best way to exchange e-certificates, either bilaterally or through the IPPC ePhyto Hub.
Regarding full implementation in China, the representative (Customs Authority) replied that it really is a question of time to develop interoperability between the Chinese system and the IPPC Hub and have it tested. Today data can be received from the Hub but problems need to be solved and the system adjusted in order to be able to send as well through the Hub.

Outcomes Costa Rica meeting 4th August:

77 people attended the workshop representing a variety of sectors from government and private sector. Representatives from the Chilean NPPO and the European Commission were also present. Costa Rica is currently exchanging with the USA, Chile and Argentina on all commodities for import and export. Testing underway with Mexico, New Zealand, Korea and EU, with France being the key entry point for testing. Costa Rica joined the IPPC ePhyto Solution using its own national system and connecting directly to the ePhyto Hub. Successful implementation has been achieved after efforts to overcome technical challenges for interoperability with the single window system (PROCOMER) and aligning phytosanitary certificates with IPPC requirements. Costa Rica has also worked on implementing digital signatures and testing is still ongoing with Mexico, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea with the hope to be trading 100 percent with these countries via the IPPC ePhyto Solution by the end of 2021.

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