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[Press Release] SHAFFE Becomes Official Member of IPPC ePhyto Industry Advisory Group

July 21, 2021

This content has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content and style, as well as to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters (SHAFFE) has officially become a member of the Industry Advisory Group of the IPPC ePhyto project as of July 2021. The International Plant Protection Convention is an intergovernmental treaty signed by over 180 countries that aims to protect the world’s plant resources from the spread and introduction of pests and promote safe trade. Given the continued efforts of SHAFFE to support the global onboarding to electronic phytosanitary certification and the importance attached by SHAFFE members to its implementation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the formalization of SHAFFE as an official member of the Industry Advisory Group represents an important recognition of these efforts. SHAFFE now stands together with many other international organizations supporting the continued modernization of trade-related certification and strengthened resilience of the multilateral trading system through digitalization.

SHAFFE has been increasing its endeavors throughout 2020 and 2021 to accelerate the onboarding to the IPPC ePhyto hub, as this solution allows the implementation of electronic phytosanitary certification under convenient and trade-oriented conditions. Nearly all of SHAFFE’s member countries have been onboarding to the solution, with Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa being at the frontline of implementing and rolling out the solution together with national solutions; in addition, Australia, Brazil and Peru are currently increasing their efforts to connect to the hub and test the exchange with their trading partners.

Owing to the challenging trading conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have reacted to the reduced airfreight and courier service availability by offering emergency solutions to enable continued and swift trade in perishables. While numerous countries in the international community have accelerated their efforts to onboard to the IPPC ePhyto solution, a range of alternative possibilities, such as the transfer of PDF files or even the development of custom transmission and verification systems, currently complicate the situation. Additionally, diverging views on the safety of transmission and additional security verification have further impeded the global rollout of electronic phytosanitary certificates.

SHAFFE is therefore focusing on four key areas of facilitation:

  1. Increased engagement in the IPPC Industry Advisory Group and the implementation of public and private collaboration.
  2. Broadening awareness within the fruit industry on the benefits of the ePhyto solution through trade seminars and forums.
  3. Seeking dialogue with key policymakers to bridge the knowledge gap between the policy and business perspectives on major challenges in the implementation process.
  4. Supporting the development of easily accessible cost–benefit analysis for distribution to members and trade partners in order to facilitate onboarding to the system.

According to SHAFFE president, Charif Christian Carvajal, “SHAFFE is honored to have formalized its membership in the Industry Advisory Group of the IPPC ePhyto project and to continue to support this very engaged community of international industry organizations in raising awareness on the benefits of the ePhyto solution.”

Image: SHAFFE

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