Friday, June 18, 2021
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Phytosanitary certificates and the ePhyto Hub

Developed by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), a global partnership that facilitates safe, inclusive trade and development outcomes in support of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, the ePhyto Hub is a web platform that allows countries to exchange phytosanitary certificates electronically.

Commonly known as "plant passports", phytosanitary certificates are documents issued by a National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) authority, attesting that a certain consignment  meets relevant phytosanitary import requirements of the country of import/transit (e.g. freedom from quarantine pests). Products requiring a phytosanitary certificates are plants, plant products or other regulated articles, which can be part of a the same consignment covered by a single phytosanitary certificate.

The advantage of such a system is that it increases efficiency, by enabling the phytosanitary authorities of both exporting and importing country to exchange electronically the information currently provided in paper phytosanitary certificates, that typically, have to physically accompany the consignment in the point of entry in the transit or destination country. In turn, the ePhyto system reduces time and cost for preparing and shipping paper certificates to be transmitted to the NPPO authority of the importing country, avoiding the risk of receiving fraudulent certificates.

Currently, 46 countries in the world exchange phytosanitary certificates through the ePhyto Hub. In Africa, countries that have adopted the ePhyto Hub include South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Morocco, while  Madagascar, while Tunisia and Benin are currently in the testing phase.

The STDF is currently working the a similar system (called “eVet”), for exchange of electronic veterinary certification. To this end, some case studies have already been conducted in Nigeria and Swaziland.




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