Digitising import and export processes in the agri-food sector

Automating practices and making data sharing more secure


By bringing together  international expertise and the local know-how of border authorities and businesses, this project facilitated trade of plant products in Morocco by replacing paper processes with electronic systems and making trading more secure, efficient and rapid.

Traders importing or exporting plants or plant products had to acquire a paper phytosanitary certificate to show that the material is considered free from pests and that it complies with plant health regulations. In Morocco, as in most countries, these paper certificates accompanied the shipment or were exchanged by post with trading partners. This made for a lengthy process, where any errors took a long time to rectify, and there was risk of loss, damage or fraud.

What are we doing

Alongside multiple Moroccan border agencies and local and international agri-food companies, our project:

  • supported Morocco to introduce electronic phytosanitary certificates, or ePhytos, and join the “ePhyto Hub”, an initiative led by the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat, which will allows them to electronically exchange ePhytos with trading partners quickly, accurately and at low cost.


The use of ePhytos:

  • means certificates are transferred between parties quickly, accurately and at low cost, reducing the time and cost burden on both traders and border agencies
  • reduces the risk of loss or fraud, helping ensure any threats to plant health through trade are stopped in their tracks
  • paves the way for Morocco to exchange other types of data with trading partners

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


We have conducted a baseline study using our Total Transport and Logistics Costs (TTLC) methodology, which measures both direct and indirect transport and logistics costs.

We 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. We will also look for evidence of wider benefits for society such as increased opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises.

How can the private sector get involved?

We are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities, including identifying international best practice, providing technical expertise to design the new systems, piloting the new systems, collecting and sharing data, and delivering training.

Project structure 


Phase 1



Phase 2


Analysis and design of new processes using international best practice

Phase 3


Piloting, delivering training and launching new systems

Read also

Smart Port Challenge, the first port sector hackathon in Morocco

Morocco’s National Ports Agency and National Single Window PORTNET, together with the Alliance for and Morocco’s port community, announce the first Smart Port Challenge 2020 hackathon which will take place from 18 December 2020 to 29 January 2021


see all >

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.
Read >

Jyoti Wadhwa

Jyoti Wadhwa, Founder, Sanskriti Vintage, New Delhi
Jyoti Wadhwa is a successful entrepreneur, who sells Indian handicrafts and promotes the spirit of craftsmanship through international trade. In 2010, she set up her online business, Sanskriti Vintage, to sell vintage handicraft fabrics, various types of embroidery, and other craft items. At the time, she worked from home while taking care of her child and handled all operations single-handedly. Ten years later, she employs 25 people, supporting local artisans and serving antique collectors and aesthetes all over the world.
Read >

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."
Read >

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.”
Read >

Get involved

Find out how to get involved in the wider Alliance by clicking the boxes to the right.

Contact us