On 11-12 September 2023, the Asian Development Bank co-organized the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Conference on Electronic Phytosanitary Certificates in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with the Agency of Plant Protection and Quarantine (APPQ) of Uzbekistan, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Trade Central Asia (TCA) activity and German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Over 70 participants from CAREC countries, private sector, and development partners attended the conference.
The conference highlighted the importance of strengthening the National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) and coordination with Customs and other trade-related agencies; implementation of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), particularly on inspection and issuance of phytosanitary certificates; and digitalization of phytosanitary certificates to ensure safe and efficient trade.
Uzbekistan’s APPQ Director General, Mr. Ibrokhim Ergashev, acknowledged ADB’s support to Uzbekistan in these areas through capacity building and encouraged cooperation among CAREC countries to achieve digitalization. ADB’s Country Director for Uzbekistan Resident Mission, Ms. Kanokpan Lao-Araya, reiterated ADB’s commitment to helping countries address trade barriers and connect to global value chains. Other development partners — European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), European Commission, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF), GIZ, International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), USAID TCA, World Bank, and Standards and Trade Development Facility, World Trade Organization (WTO) — expressed commitment to coordinate and build synergies in supporting countries’ efforts to digitalize and facilitate trade.
In a study tour on 13 September, Uzbekistan’s APPQ demonstrated their electronic phytosanitary system, which is linked to IPPC’s ePhyto solution. Azerbaijan and Georgia also expressed interest to accelerate adoption of ePhyto solution.
Countries also had the opportunity to see APPQ’s facilities, including the new ISO 17025-accredited central laboratory, mobile laboratories used to examine presence of pest and organisms while in the field, global positioning system (GPS)-enabled devices used to record pest data, fogging machines for pest management, and detector dogs that help detect high-risk items in hand luggage of people entering the territory of Uzbekistan.
- Session 1: The Roles of the National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) and Implementation of Key International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs)
- Session 2: Digitalization of Phytosanitary Certification
- Session 3: Dialogue on Digital Phytosanitary Certification
- Session 4: Private Sectors’ Insights and Industry Perspectives
- Session 5: Development Partners’ Perspectives