SPS ELECTRONIC CERTIFICATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (ECAC)

The SPS Electronic Certification Advisory Committee (ECAC) convenes and connects stakeholders with an interest in SPS e-Cert to exchange experiences, identify opportunities for collaboration, promote synergies and disseminate good practices to drive catalytic SPS improvements that facilitate safe trade.

SPS international standard setting bodies are at various stages of supporting the implementation of SPS e-Cert to facilitate safe trade. In addition, various regional organizations are advancing the development of initiatives to facilitate the exchange and use of electronic certificates. Many of these initiatives have significant implications for the trade in agriculture and agri-food products. These initiatives also have significant implications for the business processes of national government agencies and will impact on industry too. In parallel, countries are advancing in the implementation of national single windows.

In October 2019, the ECAC was created, under the auspices of the STDF, to bring together the organizations interested in SPS e-Cert and share information and experiences related to the implementation of e-Cert initiatives, facilitate linkages and synergies between these different initiatives, maximize outputs and avoid duplication.

Functions

The main functions of the ECAC are: 

  • Provide a discussion forum to share experiences related to the implementation of SPS e-Cert activities and initiatives across various standard setting bodies to achieve a strategic, integrated and ordered approach;
  • Provide advice to the STDF Working Group on specific issues brought to its attention by its members and propose suggestions and recommendations for future developments;
  • Share information regarding developments occurring in e-Cert initiatives including providing information regarding projects or proposed projects in which e-Cert is an integral component;
  • Develop projects to enhance harmonization across e-Cert, building upon existing approaches and initiatives (e.g. ePhyto, eVet, Single Windows, eCITES, etc.)
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration between international organizations undertaking e-Cert and data exchange initiatives;
  • Identify resource needs and opportunities related to e-Cert initiatives and provide guidance and assistance in fundraising efforts and cooperation on capacity development efforts.

Members

Members of the ECAC are:

  • CODEX Alimentarius Commission
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  • International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat
  • UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)/UNCEFACT
  • UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • UN International Computing Centre (UNICC)
  • World Bank Group
  • World Customs Organization (WCO)
  • World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)

Meetings

  1. First virtual meeting, 18 March 2020 - Summary report
  2. Second virtual meeting, 24 June 2020 - Summary report; Presentation: EU TRACES Overview (Mr. Philippe Loopuyt - European Commission)
  3. Third virtual meeting, 02 December 2020 - Summary report; Presentation: UN/CEFACT eCert Implementation Guidelines (Mr. Frans van Diepen - UN/CEFACT domain coordinator)
  4. Fourth virtual meeting, 15 April 2021 - Summary report; Presentation: OECD Digital opportunities for SPS systems and the trade facilitation effects of SPS electronic certification (Mr. Frank van Tongeren & Mr. Tom Baragwanath - OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate)

Relevant information related to e-Cert

Initiatives

Organization Name Link
CITES Secretariat eCITES Implementation Framework https://cites.org/eng/prog/eCITES
Codex Secretariat Proposed draft guidance on paperless use of electronic certificates http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/committees/ewg/detail/en/c/1185805/
The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation Supporting countries to introduce ePhytos https://www.tradefacilitation.org/the-ephyto-solution/
IPPC Secretariat ePhyto Solution https://www.ephytoexchange.org/landing/
OIE Facilitating e-Veterinary certification based on Single Window system https://www.standardsfacility.org/PG-609
UNCTAD UNCTAD eCITES BaseSolution https://ecites.asycuda.org/#/home/default
UNESCAP Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific https://www.unescap.org/resources/framework-agreement-facilitation-cross-border-paperless-trade-asia-and-pacific
UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation Trade Facilitation & Paperless Trade https://untfsurvey.org/
World Bank Group World Bank Blog: ePhyto - Promoting safe and efficient trade https://blogs.worldbank.org/trade/ephyto-promoting-safe-and-efficient-trade

Publications

Organization Title Link
IPPC ePhyto Newsletters https://www.ippc.int/en/ephyto/ephyto-newsletters/
OECD

Digital Opportunities for SPS Systems and the Trade
Facilitation Effects of SPS Electronic Certification

STDF Virtual Library
UNCTAD Kiribati - Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/dtlstict2019d15_en.pdf
UNESCAP Readiness Assessments for Cross-Border Paperless Trade https://www.unescap.org/resources/readiness-assessments-cross-border-paperless-trade

Events

Organization Title Dates Place Link
UNESCAP 2nd Forum on Trade Digitalization for Sustainable Regional Integration 18-19 Feb 2021 Bangkok-Thailand https://www.unescap.org/events/2nd-forum-trade-digitalization-sustainable-regional-integration