ePhyto to facilitate international agricultural trade

September 9, 2020

Seed trade

The Industry Advisory Group (IAG) of the IPPC ePhyto Solution calls on governments to support the adoption of ePhyto to facilitate international agricultural trade, which would be crucial in safeguarding global food security beyond the Covid-19 recovery period.

Global trading operations of plant products rely on crucial communication and transparency of phytosanitary requirements to protect plant health and ensure international unrestricted and safe trade of goods. Phytosanitary certificates facilitate such trade and benefit plant production sectors as well as consumers. Electronic certification as part of a broader endeavor for trade facilitation has proven itself indispensable during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to maintain continuity of agricultural trade despite limitations on air traffic and courier services.

Electronic trading documentation should not only be seen as a one-off, emergency measure, but as a permanent solution to ensure plant product trade is crisis-resilient in the future and that goods can keep moving efficiently.

ePhyto is short for “electronic phytosanitary certificate”.
The ePhyto Solution is founded in the standards of the only international convention for plant protection, the IPPC, and was intended to eventually become a permanent replacement for paper certificates even before the pandemic began. The IPPC ePhyto Solution is a tool that helps transform the information contained in a phytosanitary certificate to a digital format. This electronic exchange between countries makes trade safer, faster and cheaper.
The IPPC ePhyto Solution is a globally uniform approach with improved crisis resilience, consistency, security, fraud prevention, sustainability and replacement of paper documentation.

The IAG, which is comprised of a consortium of industry associations representing the global trade of plant products, including Euroseeds, calls on policy makers to commit to a faster onboarding to the IPPC ePhyto Solution and accelerated access for all countries, including developing and least developed economies, regardless of infrastructure capacity.

Please find here the full joint press release.

Useful resources:

  1. IPPC ePhyto Solutions website
  2. The IPPC ePhyto Solution: Investing in Trade Facilitation
  3. Video on the IPPC ePhyto Solution and its benefits