Electronic Phytosanitary Certification in Costa Rica

Since December 2020, exporters and importers of plant products will be able to process certifications digitally with the Costa Rican authorities.

Friday, January 8, 2021

The digitalization process modernizes the way of trade, makes it faster and more reliable and eliminates the use of paper, simplifying procedures, reducing time and costs, explains a statement from the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE).

This tool is known as e-Phyto and has allowed Costa Rica to become the first Central American country to integrate international trade in a digital way, the official source highlights.

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According to the authorities, this resource, on which they have been working for almost a decade, not only speeds up the process, but also avoids problems of possible falsifications, incomplete documents, or similar.

The e-Phyto System is an initiative of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) that urges the national organizations of each country to improve the commercial exchange of plant products with this tool, the document concludes.

More on this topic

Vegetables: Approval to Keep Exporting to Europe

February 2019

After concluding an audit that began in 2016, European Union authorities notified Costa Rica that it will be able to continue exporting its organic vegetables to European countries.

The Costa Rican government reported that the European Union (EU) notified the State Phytosanitary Service (SPS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock that the audit initiated in 2016 was completed with the aim of evaluating the actions of the Unit of Accreditation and Registration of Organic Agriculture (ARAO) of the SPS, resulting in continued recognition under the category of Third Country for Costa Rica.

Digital Procedures for Agricultural Exports

September 2018

In Honduras, from October 1, processing of International Phytosanitary Export Certificates can be done digitally through use of an electronic signature and stamp.

Honduran authorities reported that the National Service of Agrifood Health and Safety (SENASA), at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), has launched online processing of the certificate.

Nicaragua: Bureaucracy Blocking Agro Imports

July 2016

The slowness with which health authorities issue phytosanitary permits is causing delays in the process of importing products which are in short supply locally, such as potatoes.

Importers argue that the Institute of Animal and Plant Health Protection (IPSA by its initials in Spanish) takes up to 3 months to grant phytosanitary certification which authorizes purchases. In the case of potatoes, authorization to import the product was in effect from July 5 to August 5.

Global Phytosanitary Certification

March 2015

Approval has been given to the creation of a global system of digital certification to control pests and plant diseases which can spread during international trade.

From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Office (Procomer):

The Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), consisting of 181 countries, has approved the creation of a new global electronic certification system called E-Phyto, which will help stop the spread of pests and diseases via agricultural products transported in international trade, in a way that is safer and cheaper.