IPPC ePhyto Certificates Global Hub Rollout

The IPPC Secretariat worked with UNICC and the IPPC/ESG to develop orientation and training documents and other technical tools necessary for implementing the pilot.

Global Symposium Held in Kuala Lumpur

​UNICC completed development of the global hub in September 2017. The global hub is a centralized system to facilitate the exchange of ePhytos between National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs). The UNICC is also developing a Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS), which is a web-based system to allow countries without their own systems to produce, send and receive ePhytos in the correct format that may be exchanged through the hub. The systems together make up the IPPC ‘ePhyto Solution’.

Nine countries joined the hub pilot in early October 2017 by connecting their existing national systems to the hub. These pilot countries are at various stages of testing exchanges of certificates. Some commenced exchanging certificates for consignments in the full production environment in early January 2018. Until early March 2018 approximately 10,000 exchanges of electronic certificates had occurred. Many of these have been exchanged in a test environment. However, at least three countries have exchanged about 2000 certificates in relation to the actual trade of plants and plant products proving the utility of the system.

The IPPC Secretariat worked with the UNICC and the IPPC/ESG to develop orientation and training documents and other technical tools necessary for implementing the pilot. It is anticipated that the hub pilot which has focused on the testing the technical operation of the hub will be completed by about March 2018.

Once the hub pilot, evaluation and the implementation of any required changes are completed, a documented implementation process will be developed and published to the international phytosanitary portal to guide other countries with national systems that can produce XML messages in keeping with the harmonized schema to implement use of the hub.

The Third IPPC Global Symposium on ePhyto took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 22 to 26 January 2018. With the support of the Department of Agriculture of Malaysia, the Government of Australia, the Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC), and the IPPC, over 85 participants from 36 countries heard presentations and discussed the implications of ePhyto on trade facilitation; technical information on implementing the global hub and GeNS and information related to business process reengineering and policy support for implementation.

Participants were pleased with the progress made in advancing an electronic solution of the exchange of official phytosanitary information but highlighted the need for further communications and advocacy on the ePhyto Solution and provided recommendations for future enhancements of the ePhyto system components. The Symposium provided useful knowledge on the system components and how they relate to more efficient phytosanitary management systems.