Modernising agri-food clearance procedures

Digitalising key documentary and compliance processes


Tunisian agricultural exporters, particularly those smaller producers outside the main population centres, are benefiting from this project to digitalise key documentary and compliance processes.

All fresh and processed agricultural products in Tunisia must be submitted to technical controls and certification before export to ensure they meet relevant hygiene and market standards. Additionally, all agricultural consignments and processed foods are inspected and sampled for laboratory analysis prior to certification, a step that can take several weeks.

This export control process was paper-based and the time for processing and clearance varied widely, adding risk and costs for the exporters.

What we did

The Alliance supported the government in expanding the use of digital services through the country’s existing electronic single window, Tunisia TradeNet (TTN), to cover the technical controls at export for agri-food products.

The project also integrated regional certification posts and the public laboratories into TTN systems to replace paper-based processes, and increased awareness for the use of risk-based controls over a complete reliance on inspections.

The Alliance collaborated on the project with TTN and Tunisia’s Ministry of Trade and Export Development, and also engaged the newly-created food security authority, INSSPA. From the private sector, the project was supported by two employers’ associations, the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) and the Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce, and Handicrafts (UTICA).

The project was supported by the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which supports European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa.


This project is:

  • Reducing the time and costs associated with documentary and compliance requirements for agri-food exports
  • Improving the agricultural sector’s competitiveness in export markets and improve the performance of the logistics sector
  • Encouraging growth in the agri-food sector, which employs 14% of Tunisian workers and represents 15-17% of the country’s gross domestic product
  • Improving service for agri-food businesses outside the capital area, many of them small and medium enterprises (SMEs), thanks to the improved connectivity of regional locations of the Trade Office of Tunisia
  • Increasing the use of risk-based processes through the sharing of international best practices


The Alliance gathered baseline data on costs, time, and predictability of the clearance processes in collaboration with private sector partners through an enterprise survey conducted in the project’s initial phase. Additionally, the project is working with UTICA to jointly create a tracking system to measure the impact of the new digital service at both the company and consignment levels.

Project structure

Phase 1


Preparation and launch

Phase 2


Testing, piloting, and implementation

Phase 3


Finalisation and evaluation

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