Chile launches ePhytos for exports to U.S. - FreshFruitPortal.com

Chile launches paperless phytosanitary certification for ag exports to U.S.

Chile has launched paperless phytosanitary certification (ePhytos) for exports of agricultural products to the U.S., its leading overseas destination.

Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker said the move to electronic certification would help to streamline the export process and reduce costs.

"The United States is a strategic partner for Chile, as more than one-third of our fresh fruit is sent to that market," Walker said.

"That is why the development and implementation of electronic certification between the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is important news."

He added that applying tools to streamline trade and offer solutions to growers and exporters is especially important amid the Covid-19 in order to give exports a boost.

SAG National Director Horacio Bórquez highlighted the years of work with APHIS since 2013 to achieve this milestone.

"Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, both countries were able to put in all their effort to carry out the negotiations and changes necessary for the definitive replacement of the paper certificates for an electronic document sent via the HUB-CIPF platform," he said.

The new measure will be applicable to all agricultural, forestry and propagation material traded between both countries.

Chile sends 35% of its fruit exports to the U.S., with the majority made up of grapes, oranges, mandarins, apples and blueberries. It shipped a total of 871,880 metric tons (MT) to the market in 2019, with the value dropping by 10%.

Chile's main agricultural imports from the U.S. are corn and wheat, followed by almonds and soy.