IPPC approves system for global ePhytosanitary Certificates
The International Plant Protection Convention recently approved the creation of a global ePhytosanitary (ePhyto) certification system aimed at replacing paper certificates in their entirety.
According to a recent United Nations FAO news release, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), the governing body of the IPPC, has agreed to the global ePhyto system as part of efforts to further enhance secure information sharing while curbing paper-related costs and bureaucracy.
The measure is expected to simplify phytosanitary processes, increase countries’ ability to identify high risk cargoes and substantially reduce fraud-related risks through a secure online system – entirely replacing bureaucratic activities involving the creation, printing and exchange of millions of paper phytosanitary certificates per year.
Accoring to the FAO release, ePhyto Certificates will function through a central hub which will provide a simple and secure method for exchange between parties, thereby eliminating complex processes requiring countries to exchange protocols with every trading partner.
The hub model is expected to be significantly less costly than current paper processes, and should substantially strengthen global compliance to IPPC standards for phytosanitary certification.
In order to support developing countries lacking funds to participate in the initiative, the IPPC's governing body has also approved a request by the World Trade Organization to provide funds for the initial establishment of the ePhyto system.
As stated in the FAO news release, $1.1 trillion worth of agricultural products are traded internationally each year, with food accounting for more than 80 per cent of the total.