10 September 2020
Push for global electronic certification scheme to replace phytosanitary certificates
Europatat, the European trade association made up of national associations and companies involved in the trade of seed potatoes and ware potatoes, has joined a global push for all governments to adopt The ePhyto Solution, an electronic certification scheme, to replace existing paper documentation.
Both Europatat and other members of The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) ePhyto advisory group, believe the scheme would provide a united approach to safeguarding global food security beyond the Covid-19 recovery period.
Phytosanitary certificates provide transparency of phytosanitary requirements to protect plant health and ensure unrestricted and safe trading of goods on an international scale and during the Covid-19 pandemic, electronic certification has proved to be indispensable.
Argentina, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Samoa and USA are already using the electronic system to transmit phytosanitary certificates and other governments have made contingency plans to accept digital attachments, signatures, and copies for trade-related documents during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It is felt that electronic trading documentation should become a permanent solution to ensure plant product trade is crisis-resilient in the future and that goods can keep moving efficiently.