A. General Information

1. Title

IPPC ePhyto Solution

2. Status of the project/service
3. Implementation period of the project/service:
5. Geographical coverage
31 countries are currently registered on the ePhyto Hub. An additional 30 countries are expect to join this year (including the countries of the European Union),
6. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
Global National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs)/Contracting Parties to the Convention
Other participating agencies/entities
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities
International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat (
Other participating agencies/entities
United Nations International Computing Center (
7. Main user groups of the project/services
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
Customs brokers
8. Process category of this project/service
Regulatory/official control

B. Lessons Learned

9. Summary description of the project/service
a. Objective(s)

To provide developing countries with a simple generic system for the production, sending and receipt of electronic phytosanitary certificates and to establish a harmonized exchange tool to facilitate the exchange of electronic certificates as an alternative to the current practice of exchanging paper certificates. The establishment of these tools will improve the security of official communications between countries and the trade flows. It will also eliminate the cost and complexity of countries developing individual systems for electronic data exchange and the necessity to negotiate exchange protocols on a country by country basis. 

b. Reason for initiation (background)

To provide all IPPC Contracting Parties, developed and developing countries alike that are interested with the opportunity to exchange phytosanitary certificate information in a digitally harmonized way in order to facilitate safe trade in plants and plant products.   

c. Target process*

Exchange of electronic Phytosanitary Certificates  

d. Overall architecture and functionalities*
e. Relevant document/figure
10. Documents and data exchanged via the project/service

Phytosanitary Certificates 

11. Data harmonized between agencies/entities/users
12. Main challenges faced during the project/service

Obtaining resources and getting started due to delays on the part of some organizations and countries (some intentional, others due to simple inefficiency).  Nothing else out of the ordinary for a technical project of this type 

13. Lessons learned from the project/service

As the final pilot phase of the GeNS system is still ongoing all possible lessons are not available yet.  However, significant time savings in processing goods at the border have been realized in the few case studies conducted so far. 

14. Main benefit(s) of the project/service
Enhanced regulatory compliance*
Transaction Cost savings*
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
Increased trade flow
14A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained:

Reduce possibilities for fraudulent documentation, reduce data entry and validation functions by NPPO staff, improve security in transmission of certificate documentation, improve planning for the arrival and clearance of plants and plant products at customs, reduce delays in receiving replacement phytosanitary certificates, maximize the investment by building  on existing initiatives, reduce ongoing and costly bilateral arrangements, ability to link into the World Customs Organization “One Window” initiative and harmonize codes and processes  

15. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance

Yes, some IPPC Contracting parties as well as the World Bank provided both technical and financial assistance. 

16. Future plan for expansion of the project and service

The project is global and focused on phytosanitary certificates only at this time.  Eventually as the system proves its value, the IPPC would invite the other two SPS “sisters”, OIE and Codex, to make use of the Hub as well for animal and food safety certificates.   

17. Other information or relevant references on the project and service
18. Relevant document regarding the project/service

C. Relevant Standards

20. Electronic message standard
20A. Electronic message standard supporting the project/service:
20B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the project/service
International standard
Technical recommendations from international body(ies)
21. Technical communication standard
21A. Technical communication standard supporting the project/service
21B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the project/service
22. Security-related standards*
22A. Security-related standard supporting the project/service
22B. Type of security-related standard applied for the project/service
23. Other Technical Information
23A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
23B. Other technical implementation information