As a part of trade facilitation, International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat is
working with other international organisations, such as CODEX Alimentarius, the World
Organisation of Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Centre for Trade and Developments
(UNCTAD), the World Customs Organisation (WTO), along with international industry
associations and technical experts in electronic phytosanitary certification from the Food and
Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) regions to develop the “ePhyto Solution”.
An ‘ePhyto’ is an electronic version of the information contained in a phytosanitary certificates
whereas the “Hub” is the web-based system used by 28 countries to exchange ePhytos using a
single harmonized communication protocol. GeNS is an online system that allows developing
countries without their own national systems to produce, send and receive electronic certificates
from the Hub.
Based on the global survey conducted by the IPPC, eight countries (Australia; Chile; China;
Kenya; The Republic of Korea; The Netherlands; New Zealand; USA) have confirmed their
willingness to participate in piloting the hub with their existing national systems. Furthermore, 6
countries (Ecuador; Egypt; Ghana; Guatemala; Samoa; Sri Lanka) have confirmed their
willingness to participate in the pilot using GeNS after implementation.
Sri Lanka currently has a paper based (manual) exchange system which fits in with GeNS
implementation and also supports the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regarding
the importance of applying paperless, trusted and secured exchange of phytosanitary
documentation on the plant products in international trade. Therefore, with the contributions
(financial and in-kind) of Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), Australia,
the National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS), Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Agriculture is
working on setting up nineteen ePhyto work stations for GeNS implementation at various
locations in Sri Lanka.
Infotechs IDEAS (Pvt) Ltd. entered into a contract with the Department of Agriculture and
Water Resources, Australia on 3 June 2019 to deliver the professional services for the purpose of
managing and disbursing funds for the implementation of Electronic Phytosanitary Certification
System Project in Sri Lanka. The required services will be provided until 30 June 2020.