Digitalising Key Border Procedures to Boost Jordan’s Agricultural Trade

Alliance project will introduce IPPC’s ePhyto Solution to cut paperwork on agri-business shipments

Jordan is making its agricultural trade simpler, faster, and less costly under a new project announced today by its Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, which will digitise phytosanitary certificates that are essential for trade in plant and plant products.

Jordan currently relies on traders filing paper certificates to confirm that their agricultural products are free of pest and disease. These paper certificates can take days to obtain and are prone to errors, loss and counterfeiting. This slows shipments that can be spoiled by delays.

Now, the Alliance is supporting Jordan’s government by replacing the paper-based process with electronic phytosanitary certificates, called ePhytos. The project will introduce the ePhyto Solution, an initiative of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) that enables participating countries to exchange ePhytos quickly, accurately, and at a low cost through a central hub. In Jordan, using ePhytos is expected to reduce the clearance time for exports by 12 hours and imports by six hours.

“Agriculture is one of the most important sectors supporting the national economy and the main pillar for maintaining food security. Therefore, the process of continuous development of this sector, and keeping pace with what is new, is one of my top priorities,” said Khaled Huneifat, Jordan’s Minister of Agriculture. “As such, we are delighted to implement this ePhyto project, which will enhance the performance of the agricultural trade through the digitalisation of key border operations and reduce clearance times for exports and imports.”

The Alliance has gained valuable experience in this domain in recent years, having successfully completed an ePhyto project in Morocco and begun implementing similar projects in countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Madagascar, Senegal, and Thailand.

Underscoring the project’s potential impact, Jordan imported roughly USD 963 million worth of agricultural products in 2021 from countries using or registered with the IPPC ePhyto Hub, good for nearly two-thirds of its total agricultural imports.

The agriculture and food sector in Jordan employs around one-quarter of the country’s poorest citizens, including refugees and migrant workers, and has been hard-hit by the economic impacts of regional conflicts. Now, fruit and vegetable exporters are looking forward to smoother and faster paths to markets across the world.

This project will contribute to Jordan implementing its commitments under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

“ePhytos are a proven solution in delivering meaningful, lasting time and cost savings for agricultural exporters and importers,” said Philippe Isler, the Alliance’s Director. “By adopting this approach, Jordan is ensuring its agricultural trade processes meet international best practices, making it easier to ensure a trouble-free supply of food and plant imports. It will also make it easier for Jordanian exporters, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises, to compete abroad.”