KARACHI: Pakistan has achieved a major milestone in trade facilitation by connecting to the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC’s) e-Phyto Hub.
The National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) through Pakistan Single Window (PSW) can now electronically exchange phytosanitary certificates with 127 countries worldwide through the centralized e-Phyto platform.
The official launch ceremony took place on the other day at the headquarters of NPPO, the Department of Plant Protection (DPP), in Karachi.
Federal Secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research Capt Muhammad Mahmood (retd) inaugurated the ceremony, while Dr Allah Ditta Abid, Director General, DPP, and Naveed Abbas Memon, Chief Domain Officer, PSW were also present on the occasion.
The Secretary commended the collaborative efforts of PSW and DPP in advancing trade facilitation through automation.
Speaking on the occasion, Capt Muhammad Mahmood (retd) stated, “The Ministry is actively working on transforming the country’s food system to strengthen the food security value chain through automation and digitization.
We are glad to note the substantial progress the Department of Plant Protection has made in digitizing its cross-border trade functions under the PSW initiative enabling it to join other NPPOs in the world in sending e-Phyto certificates in a relatively short period.“
The integration of the PSW into the IPPC e-Phyto Hub is part of PSW’s vision and commitment and DPP’s goal to modernize trade processes and embrace digital solutions for a more efficient and interconnected global trade environment.
Since the integration, PSW has successfully exchanged e-phyto certificates with approximately 100 countries, including major trading partners such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Oman, the United States, Indonesia, Madagascar, Singapore, and Germany.
CEO PSW Syed Aftab Haider said, “The integration marks a significant step forward for PSW. It demonstrates PSW’s ability to integrate with international platforms for data exchange.
By joining the Hub, PSW has taken the first step towards the elimination of paper certificates across the international supply chain-a natural spillover to the digitization of trade processes and documents within Pakistan finally, the integration marks the first government organization other than Customs to be integrated to an international system through PSW which reinforces our work as a national entity.“
The electronic issuance of phytosanitary certificates through the PSW system is now operational across all major entry points, including seaports, airports, dry ports, and land border stations throughout Pakistan reducing processing times and costs associated with traditional paper-based procedures and facilitating traders in improving their trade competitiveness.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023