PK Streamlines Imports with Electronic Phytosanitary Certificates

Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has announced the successful implementation of electronic phytosanitary certificates (e-Phyto) for imports of agricultural goods and commodities.

In a groundbreaking move towards digitizing Pakistan’s supply chain transactions, the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has announced the successful implementation of electronic phytosanitary certificates (e-Phyto) for imports of agricultural goods and commodities.

This marks a significant stride in streamlining and modernizing cross-border trade processes, reducing the time, costs, and environmental impact of traditional paper-based documentation.

The e-Phyto, a digital document that verifies the health status of plants and plant products, is exchanged internationally through the e-Phyto Hub of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), a treaty supervised by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

The integration of e-Phyto Hub with the PSW is a collaborative effort between the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) under the Ministry of National Food Security & Research and the PSW, aimed at enhancing efficiency and transparency in the country’s trade operations.

The PSW platform had previously initiated the electronic transmission of e-Phytos for exports since its integration with the e-Phyto Hub in November 2023. Since then, over 10,000 e-Phyto certificates have been sent to 77 countries in relation to Pakistani export consignments, showcasing the platform’s commitment to facilitating seamless international trade.

One of the notable advantages of this digital transformation is the elimination of the need for physical submission of paper documents during customs clearance. Importers, in particular, are poised to benefit significantly as release orders from the Department of Plant Protection can now be obtained by simply mentioning the e-Phyto certificate number in their single declaration (SD), without the cumbersome process of submitting hard copies.

The Secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research commended the collaborative efforts of the PSW and DPP in automating trade processes, recognizing the positive impact on trade facilitation. The Chief Executive Officer of PSW expressed appreciation for the dedication of both teams and pledged to enhance cooperation with the Ministry to further optimize cross-border trade operations.

The e-Phyto solution emerges as a pivotal tool in transitioning from traditional paper phytosanitary certificates to digital formats. This electronic exchange between countries not only enhances the safety of traded goods but also expedites the entire process, making it more efficient and cost-effective.

By connecting with the e-Phyto Hub, Pakistan is now able to electronically exchange phytosanitary certificates with 127 countries worldwide, fostering a more connected and technologically advanced global trade network.

The successful implementation of e-Phyto on imports underscores Pakistan’s commitment to embracing digital solutions for trade facilitation. As the nation continues to harness the benefits of technology in cross-border transactions, stakeholders can anticipate further improvements in efficiency, reduction in operational costs, and a more sustainable approach to international trade.

The integration of electronic phytosanitary certificates into Pakistan’s Single Window platform marks a transformative step towards a more efficient and modernized trade ecosystem. This digital leap not only benefits importers and exporters but also positions Pakistan as a proactive player in the global movement towards paperless, streamlined, and technologically advanced cross-border trade.