Ecuador

In progress

Boosting trade competitiveness through the IPPC’s ePhyto solution

Project will improve phytosanitary trade processes, beginning with bananas  

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Ecuador’s agricultural exporters will benefit from this project to simplify procedures for trade processes governing plant and plant-based products, beginning with an initial focus on bananas.

Traders exporting plants or plant products must acquire a paper phytosanitary certificate to show that the material is considered free from pests and that it complies with plant health regulations. Ecuador aims to accelerate a shift to digital platforms for this verification process, removing the risk of erroneous, lost, or damaged paperwork that can take time to resolve, leaving stranded produce to spoil.

The Alliance has already gained valuable experience supporting the implementation of this digitised approach in Morocco and has other such projects underway in Jordan, Madagascar, and Senegal.

What we are doing

Our project is supporting Ecuador’s national plant protection agency, AGROCALIDAD, in introducing electronic phytosanitary certificates, or ePhytos, and in joining the “ePhyto Hub”, an initiative led by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat. This electronic hub allows them to electronically exchange ePhytos with trading partners quickly, accurately, and at low cost.

The Alliance will be working with the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador to define a group of 30 exporters to pilot the ePhyto system before it is expanded to other agricultural products in future phases.

Benefits

The use of ePhytos will:

  • mean certificates are transferred between parties quickly, accurately and at low cost, reducing the time and cost burden on both traders and border agencies
  • reduce the risk of loss or fraud, helping ensure any threats to plant health through trade are stopped in their tracks
  • enhance Ecuador’s trade competitiveness by making it easier to trace and track plant and plant-based shipments, generating greater confidence in quality and origin
  • reduce the need for in-person interactions between traders and the authorities at a time when health and hygiene are paramount

Overall, the project can also help drive food security by preventing shipments of food getting stuck and spoiled at border checkpoints.

Measurement

Once the project is complete, the Alliance will measure the time taken for border compliance for agri-food imports and exports using ePhytos to assess our impact on time and cost of trading.

How can the private sector get involved?

The Alliance invites companies involved in banana exports to participate in the project, particularly in the planning and development phase, to help better define those aspects of certification that can be improved to best deliver time savings.

Testimonials

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John Kornerup Bang

Head of Sustainability Strategy and Shared Value at Maersk
As one of the world’s largest integrated transport and logistics companies operating in 130 countries, Maersk is a major part of the global trading system. “International trade has helped lift over a billion people out of poverty. At the same time, we recognise that we need to make global trade available for everybody so that all can share in its benefits. That’s why a key pillar of our sustainability strategy is to multiply the benefits of trade by supporting countries to implement the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) – and why we work with the Alliance to do it."
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Eston Sakala

Eston Sakala, Managing Director, Evolution Logistics and Solutions, Lusaka
Eston Sakala set up his own clearing and forwarding business in 2016 helping traders to move their goods in and out of Zambia – a profession he has been in for 17 years. In three short years he has grown his business from scratch to employ 18 staff with a customer base spanning Zambia’s key import and export sectors. “My goal now is to build capacity in my business, embrace technology and deliver my service to the level of a DHL,” says Eston. “I’d love to see the day when I can sit in front of my screen and watch trucks being processed by Evolution in real time, every minute, every hour. I want to be the go-to business for quick and correct clearances.”
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Amgad Shehata

Senior Vice President of International Public Affairs and Strategy at UPS
UPS is the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialised transportation and logistics services. Every day, it manages the flow of goods, funds, and information in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. “We believe that we can propel sustainable development and business performance at the same time. Helping countries to implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) allows us to do exactly that. Facilitating cross-border trade completely aligns with our customers’ needs while holding the promise of driving economic growth and creating a more equal society across the globe."
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Revathi Roy

Revathi Roy, Co-founder and CEO, HeyDeedee, Mumbai
Revathi Roy set up India’s first all-female delivery company HeyDeedee in 2016 to offer new training and professional opportunities to low-income women in Mumbai. Three years later, her business operates in 10 Indian cities, employs 10 000 women agents, and has partnerships with giants like Amazon. “A career in logistics is not an intuitive leap for Indian women since this field has been largely dominated by men. Parents see jobs in the call centre industry as a safer option for their daughters,” explains Revathi.
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Find out how to get involved in the wider Alliance by clicking the boxes to the right.

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