Colombia

In progress

Optimising systems to enhance safety and efficiency in agricultural trade

Project will build on risk management experience and implement the IPPC’s ePhyto solution

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The Alliance is supporting Colombia in strengthening its risk management system for agricultural products, cutting costs and delays in shipments and boosting the competitiveness of Colombian products worldwide.

We are also modernising the national system for the exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates, allowing Colombia to better engage with international trade partners.

Trade risk management practises in Colombia, particularly in the agricultural sector, rely heavily on physical inspections of goods, leading to delays in shipments and extra costs for traders. Processes also tend to focus more on the control of goods than on the control of data, resulting in inefficient use of resources and, ultimately, lower rates of risk detection.

Additionally, phytosanitary certificates controlling the import and export of plant and plant products are currently issued in hard copy and transferred between traders and government agencies by post or courier. This manual procedure can make for a time-consuming and cumbersome process prone to errors, loss, theft, or fraud.

In implementing this project, the Alliance will draw on its previous work with the Colombian Food and Drug Agency (INVIMA) on risk management and its experience in implementing the IPPC’s ePhyto solution in Morocco.

What we are doing

We are working with the Colombian Institute of Agriculture (ICA) and other public and private sector stakeholders to optimise ICA’s existing risk management system and ensure its consistent application to all trade activities to reduce physical inspections and increase risk detection.

In parallel, we will introduce a tailored system of electronic phytosanitary certificates, or ePhytos, and support Colombia in joining the “ePhyto Hub,” an initiative led by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat. This electronic hub will allow ICA to exchange ePhytos with trading partners quickly, accurately, and at a low cost.

Benefits

An optimised risk management system will allow ICA to:

  • better protect public health by focusing on high-risk shipments thanks to fewer physical inspections
  • reduce clearance time for agricultural exports and imports
  • cut costs associated with documentary compliance and clearance processes for private as well as public sector

The use of ePhytos in Colombia will:

  • cut time and cost of trade for animal and plant products
  • further unlock the benefits of international trade through the ePhyto Hub

Measurement

We will conduct a baseline assessment using data provided by local private sector companies and public sector partners. Similar assessments will also be conducted in the mid- and final stages of the project. Our monitoring, evaluation, and learning team will establish a formal review at the end of the project to chart the broader impact of the initiative.

How can the private sector get involved?

We are looking for local and international businesses in the agricultural sector to get involved in project activities. Their participation can help us collect data needed for the project and better identify best practices and opportunities for improvement.

Project Structure

The project will take 24 months and will have two separate components.

The risk management systems will be optimised in three phases:

  • Phase I : Review of existing risk management strategy
  • Phase II : Implementation of new risk management practises
  • Phase III : Assessment of new operating environment post-implementation

The ePhyto solution will be implemented in four phases:

  • Phase I: Analysis of current business processes to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Phase II: Review of existing regulations on phytosanitary procedures
  • Phase III: Configuration and implementation of the IPPC ePhyto system
  • Phase IV: Evaluation of the effectiveness of the ePhyto solution

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Testimonials

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Alex Perkins

Senior Manager for International Government Affairs at FCA
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles and related parts and services in more than 140 countries. Moving goods across borders is part of its everyday operations. “FCA decided to get involved in the Global Alliance because it provided a unique opportunity to leverage the company’s in-house customs and supply chain management expertise to drive economic growth in developing countries in a way that is also meaningful for our local operations in those countries."
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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.
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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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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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