Global Webinar as SHAFFE and FRESHFEL EUROPE team up with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation

Wed 02/06/2021 by Richard Wilkinson
Global Webinar as SHAFFE and FRESHFEL EUROPE team up with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation

SHAFFE (Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters) together with Freshfel Europe (The European Fresh Produce Association) are teaming up with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) to accelerate current NPPO endeavours to promote the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) ePhyto hub.

In order to address key challenges in the onboarding process as well as with regard to practical aspects of the transmission – starting from different systems speaking to each other, to readiness for receiving countries to the security of the transmitted document, the global webinar: “Electronic Phytosanitary Certificates – Bridging the gap between policy and business” was held in 2 runs, on 27th May, 5.00pm CET and on 31st  May 2021, 9.00am CET, with simultaneous translation into Spanish, French, and English.

The programme consisted of a panel discussion of NPPO and IPPC representatives, amongst them Christian Dellis from Aphis, Helene Klein from the EU Traces Team and Peter Neimanis from the Australian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment, to discuss major elements of concern to make the solution workable for the global fruit industry. The discussion was moderated by SHAFFE Secretary General and Freshfel Director of Trade and Business Development Nelli Hajdu, who also represented the fruit industry regarding the Industry Advisory Group of the IPPC ePhyto solution.

To a digital management

While the fruit sector has managed well through the global pandemic with only 1% loss in trade volume (87m tons in 2020) but still 3% increase in global value (US$100bn in 2020),  the need for original documents/certificates in a period of restricted travel and social distancing remained a major trade barrier for in-time delivery of perishable goods. While many governments have been accelerating transition to electronic transmission systems, the fruit sector still sees major barriers in the implementation. To bridge this gap and foster dialogue between private and public actors, SHAFFE, together with Freshfel Europe and the Alliance, held a global webinar (27th May for Europe, U.S., Africa, Latin America/ 31st May 2021 for Europe, Asia, and Oceania) together with NPPO representatives, to discuss the potential of the IPPC ePhyto solution.

Missing or faulty documents are one of the main elements for interceptions at border. In EU-27 countries alone, one third of perishable interceptions can be traced back to a mistake or missing phytosanitary certificate. The global pandemic with limited travel, restricted airfreight and courier services accelerated the challenge to comply to the administrative and the regulatory requirements to enter destination markets.

The IPPC ePhyto system allows the transmission of electronic phytosanitary certificates via a secure XML-coded message from NPPO to NPPO. With more than 1 million phytosanitary certificates exchanged already, and more and more countries committing to this or alternative digital solutions, the fruit industry welcomes the effort made to eventually move to paperless certification.

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