The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) has supported Biosecurity Solomon Islands in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock with the provision of IT equipment to support the implementation of ePhyto in Solomon Islands.
The equipment which included laptops, bags and a printer was handed over to the Director of Biosecurity and his staff by the Deputy Director of External Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Jenny Barile and Solomon Islands PACER Plus Coordinator, Tristein Zutu.
Director of Biosecurity, Francis Tsatsia thanked PACER Plus for the donation which would assist in fast tracking the transition into electronic phytosanitary certificate (ePhyto).
He said the equipment are part of PACER Plus ongoing activity to support the bio-security division in the set-up of the Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) for Solomon Islands.
Mr. Tsatsia therefore said the equipment presented are very important to supporting the implementation of the program which is still on trial and would possibly be in full operation by February 2024 with major partners Australia and New Zealand.
The Director also made special acknowledgement to PACER Plus for the three trainings covered on ePhyto and for the support by ePhyto Capacity Building Project, Consultant, Peter Neimanis from Australia.
Phytosanitary certificates are documents used to detail products used in export and imports and their destinations. It is an important part of the market access process.
Solomon Islands has been using the paper-based certificates and the set-up of the GeNS would allow a transition into an easily accessible and transferable digital format.
Among the key PACER Plus objectives is to help build the capacity of agencies responsible for the implementation of Sanitary & Phyto Sanitary Measures (SPS) policies and procedures; build business awareness of the application of SPS measures consistent with the principles in the SPS chapter; and strengthen cooperation between authorities responsible for dealing with the matters covered in the SPS Chapter.
The implementation of ePhyto in PACER Plus member countries presents a significant opportunity to improve trade facilitation, for plants and plant products, across an entire geographical region.
Pacific Island member countries, particularly plant quarantine services, lack the resources and subject matter expertise to deliver the training and change management to effectively implement ePhyto through the Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS).
—MFAET PRESS RELEASE