KARACHI: In a significant stride towards advancing Pakistan’s digitalized trade processes, the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has initiated the reception of electronic phytosanitary certificates (e-Phyto) for imports of agricultural goods and commodities through its integration with the E-Phyto Hub.
This development follows the PSW platform’s successful transmission of e-Phytos for export of goods since its integration with the e-Phyto Hub in November 2023. To date, more than 10,000 e-Phyto certificates have been dispatched to 77 countries in association with Pakistani export consignments.
The e-Phyto, a key document ensuring compliance with plant health standards, is exchanged globally through the E-Phyto Hub, an initiative of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The integration between the PSW and the e-Phyto Hub is a collaborative effort between the Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Ministry of National Food Security & Research, and the PSW. It marks a significant leap towards digitizing Pakistan’s supply chain transactions.
The PSW has successfully digitized cross-border trade-related processes of the DPP, streamlining the electronic application, processing, and issuance of import permits, release orders, and phytosanitary certificates for plants and plant-related items. This effort aligns with national and international laws governing the import and export of such goods. The electronic exchange of e-Phytos through the Hub eliminates the need for traders to submit paper documents during customs clearance.
Importers, in particular, stand to benefit from reduced time and costs. They can now obtain Release Orders from the DPP for the clearance of their import consignments by simply referencing the number of e-Phyto certificates in their single declaration (SD), without the requirement of submitting hard copies.
The Federal Secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research extended congratulations and appreciation to the PSW and DPP for their collaborative efforts in facilitating trade through automation. The Chief Executive Officer of the PSW also expressed gratitude to the two teams and affirmed the commitment to enhancing cooperation with the Ministry to further streamline cross-border trade processes.
The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), overseen by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, is a multilateral treaty. The e-Phyto solution, an integral part of the IPPC’s initiatives, transforms paper phytosanitary certificate information into a digital format. This electronic exchange enhances the safety, speed, and cost-effectiveness of global trade. Through its connection to the e-Phyto Hub, Pakistan is now positioned to electronically exchange phytosanitary certificates with 127 countries worldwide, fostering smoother and more efficient international trade practices.