In Thailand, the agriculture sector plays a key role in the country’s economy, representing 8% of total GDP and employing roughly 6.4 million people, or nearly one-third of the total labour force. As a result, international trade in agricultural produce is critical in ensuring millions of people’s livelihoods and food supply. Thailand’s Department of Agriculture (DOA) has already taken significant steps towards the adoption of electronic phytosanitary certificates, or ePhytos, but it has yet to connect to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Hub, which would allow it to exchange these certificates across the world, including with Australia, China and the United States, its most important trading partners.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
The project is supporting the Thai government in implementing the IPPC ePhyto Solution. Also, we will be providing training to government officers and traders alike to use the new ePhyto system. This includes the IT adaptation of the national system and the Single Window as well as building the capacity of government officers and traders to use the new ePhyto system.
Also, to manage the transition from paper-based to electronic processes, the project will support awareness raising campaigns, and regional and international knowledge exchange activities.
This project will enhance Thailand’s access to global markets, cut red tape on plant shipments, and reduce the risk of erroneous, lost, or damaged documents, which can cause delays that lead to damaged or spoiled produce. It will benefit all companies, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), by:
- reducing the costs associated with shipping of paper phytosanitary certificates and delays in receiving replacements
- improving scheduling and planning for the arrival and clearance of plants and plant products
- enabling information to be stored, managed, and accessed electronically, making it more efficient
- reducing the time to process requests for export-related phytosanitary activities
- reducing border delays
Finally, Thailand will be among the first ASEAN countries to exchange ePhytos through the IPPC ePhyto Hub.
Once implementation starts, a baseline study will be carried out. This will be used to measure impacts on time and cost reductions following implementation.
HOW CAN THE PRIVATE SECTOR GET INVOLVED?
The Alliance is calling on local and international businesses in the agri-processing and logistics sectors to participate in a wide range of project activities, which will increase understanding of the issues surrounding phytosanitary certification processes. In addition, local private sector partners, such as traders, customs brokers, and freight forwarders, will help raise awareness about training sessions and the benefits of the ePhyto Solution.
The project is scheduled to take 16 months. Its activities will be grouped into two distinct components:
Component 1: Adapt the IT environment in Thailand to connect Thai systems (DOA, National Single Window) to the ePhyto Hub.
Component 2: Enhance capacities of public and private sector stakeholders to use the new ePhyto process.
Find out how to get involved in the wider Alliance by clicking the boxes to the right.