ePhyto project Fiji
The World Economic Forum contracted GFA to implement the ePhyto Project in Fiji on behalf of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. Together with the Biosecurity Authority Fiji (BAF) as the beneficiary, GFA will significantly increase the use of electronic Phytosanitary Certificates in Fiji (ePhytos). These certificates were developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The project will facilitate the secure and efficient trade in plant and plant products in the country, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables, and will strengthen Fiji’s capacity for agricultural-based economic development.
The BAF began a basic implementation of the IPPC Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) in July 2020 and has started to exchange ePhytos with New Zealand. However, there are significant gaps in the current GeNS implementation in Fiji that must be addressed to realize the systems full potential. For example, from a company perspective, the entire phytosanitary certification process is still entirely paper-based, and companies are still not connected to the GeNS system. Further, the GeNS is currently only available at BAF Head Office for the Central Division and Nadi Station for the Western Division. Companies in remote locations have to rely on paper-based processes entirely. In addition, phytosanitary certification-related processes such as High Temperature Forced Air (HTFA) are managed manually and not integrated into GeNS. Procedures for issuing Phyto Certificates for all non-registered exporters (these include micro companies, artisans, and private individuals) are also still paper-based. GeNS is only exchanging ePhytos with one country, namely New Zealand.
The project, expected to conclude in mid-2023, involves connecting traders and satellite BAF offices to the new system, providing appropriate training on the necessary IT equipment, and assisting BAF in reviewing and revising its practices to take full advantage of the digitalization process.