Costa Rica completes ePhyto trial period with U.S.
Costa Rica has successfully completed its electronic phytosanitary certificate trial process with the U.S., allowing the digital system to be used for agricultural trade as of July.
The ePhyto certification is the issuance of certificates through an electronic system that guarantees the integrity of the paperless information sent.
This is so that the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the importing country has the appropriate level of confidence that the information it is receiving is the same as that sent by the NPPO of the exporting country (SFE-CR).
"This system has helped us with our clients, everything is done electronically; all the documentation arrives. Before, the certificates were received a week later, today some arrive the same afternoon," said Luis Carlos Monge, owner of Turriplantas, a small family business, which exports ornamental plants to Europe, Asia and mainly to the United States.
"It arrives to all clients simultaneously, we all have the information. If there is a change to be made, it is much faster, if there is a problem there is time to make an adjustment, it can be corrected without the material being held up along the way. We have found it easy, agile and there is no need to go anywhere, I do everything from here."
Since the beginning of 2020, Costa Rica began tests for sending and receiving phytosanitary certificates with the NPPOs of the United States, Mexico, Chile and Argentina, thanks to the work of the Single Window team, who have developed and implemented the interconnection system so successfully that since December 2020 phytosanitary certificates are being successfully transmitted and received.
The digital phytosanitary certificates are of immediate transmission, can be reviewed in the country of destination to determine non-conformities in its preparation, which allows correction before the arrival of the goods to the country of destination.
Falsifications and alterations of phytosanitary certificates are minimized to the maximum. All that is required is that the exporter notifies the importer of the phytosanitary certificate number so that the importer can report it to the agricultural offices in the country of destination and the inspector at the point of entry can see the phytosanitary certificate on the ePhyto platform.