MEDIA RELEASE: Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) Board Chairman marks the official launch of the transformative agri-food project.
SUVA, July 18, 2022 – A landmark initiative to fully introduce electronic phytosanitary (ePhyto) certification for global Fijian trade in plant and plant products has been marked by the BAF Board Chairman Mr. Naushad Ali, at an official launch of the project on Monday.
In July 2020, Fiji became one of the first countries in the region to use electronic phytosanitary certification, exchanging ePhytos with New Zealand. It is now taking the final steps to fully integrate into the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) ePhyto Hub, enabling the country’s vital agri-food sector to exchange necessary export and import documentation with key markets quickly, accurately, and at low cost.
This adoption will streamline trade with key markets in several, practical ways, including improving planning for the arrival and clearance of goods; expediting clearance of produce from ports; allowing faster more cost-effective completion of required certification; automating the process for issuing ePhytos to non-registered traders; and enabling the quick replacement of erroneous paperwork.
The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) is working with the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF), to enable this seamless electronic exchange with other main export markets, including the United States and Australia and other countries in the Pacific region already linked to the IPPC ePhyto Hub.
The project, which is expected to conclude in mid-2023, involves connecting traders and satellite BAF offices to the new system, providing appropriate training in requisite IT equipment and assisting BAF in reviewing and revising its practices to take full advantage of the digitalisation process.
This initiative has the full backing of the Pacific Islands Forum, which is helping to promote the work of the Alliance in Pacific Island countries.
Fijian businesses are actively supporting this initiative and are assisting BAF in the transition phase, participating in training and engaging in early testing of the new system.
Further, the private sector also committed to working alongside Government on a project steering committee to bring about a mutually successful conclusion for the country and for traders.