In progress

Enhancing the competitiveness of plant product exports

Introducing the IPPC’s ePhyto Solution to digitise certification processes 


The Alliance is working with Senegal’s government to cut the costs and time associated with the certification of plant and plant product exports, while also ensuring that importing countries can depend on product quality and safety.

Currently, traders shipping plants or plant products must acquire a paper phytosanitary certificate to show that the material is considered free from pests and that they comply with plant health regulations. Senegal is embracing the use of automated systems for this verification process to remove the risk of erroneous, lost, or damaged paperwork that can result in damaged or spoiled produce.

This project complements another already underway that aims at digitising import processes for seed shipments in Senegal. In addressing import and export procedures, these projects are contributing to the government’s drive to boost the productivity and competitiveness of its agricultural sector and increase its fruit and vegetable exports.

The Alliance has already gained valuable experience supporting the implementation of the ePhyto Solution in Morocco and has three other such projects underway in Ecuador, Jordan, and Madagascar.

What we are doing

We are supporting the Ministry of Agriculture, through its Department for Plant Protection, in introducing electronic phytosanitary certificates, or ePhytos, an initiative of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat. The ePhyto Solution allows participating countries to electronically exchange certificates with trading partners quickly, accurately, and at low cost. The project has a particular focus on improving procedures governing plant-based exports to the European Union, which receives 80% of Senegal’s fruit and vegetable shipments.


Agri-food businesses make up nearly half the Senegalese industrial sector, and 90% of these are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Many of these smaller businesses struggle with the complexity and costs posed by meeting phytosanitary standards for export and this project will benefit them in particular by simplifying these processes and reducing the expense.

The use of ePhytos will:

  • ensure certificates are transferred between parties quickly, accurately, and at low cost, reducing the time and cost burden on both traders and border agencies
  • enhance Senegal’s global trade competitiveness by showing that its plant-based exports conform to international phytosanitary standards
  • assist in the collection of reliable data that can guide sector planning and allow for exchange with trading partners
  • confirm the origin of Senegalese exports and combat traders fraudulently claiming Senegal origin to gain favourable market access
  • promote wider adoption of phytosanitary standards among local producers


The Alliance will use its Total Trade Logistics Cost (TTLC) methodology at the project’s outset and again at its conclusion to determine how the project contributed to lower both direct and indirect costs and time saved in import and export processes at the border.

How can the private sector get involved?

We are looking for both local and international businesses in the agri-processing and freight-forwarding sectors to get involved in project activities. Their participation can help us better understand the difficulties they face in dealing with phytosanitary certification processes and learn ways the ePhyto solution can be applied to resolve them.

Project Structure

The project will take 15 months and will be implemented in five phases: 

Phase 1

In progress

Review of existing regulations on phytosanitary procedures

Phase 2

In progress

Process mapping and reengineering

Phase 3


Configuration and implementation of the IPPC ePhyto system

Phase 4


Capacity building, training, and change management

Phase 5


Communications and awareness-building within local agencies and those of trading partners

Read also

Alliance project in Morocco expands as partners raise their ambitions for trade facilitation

Alongside the Moroccan Ministry of Industry and Trade, the National Ports Agency (ANP) and the Moroccan private sector the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is expanding its work in Morocco.

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