The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) have joined forces to facilitate trade while protecting society, the environment, forests, and biodiversity from the spread of plant pests and diseases.
WCO secretary general Kunio Mikuriya and IPPC secretary Jingyuan Xia signed on June 19 an agreement to promote cooperation on matters of common interest to help facilitate the international trade of plants and plant products in a safe and efficient manner.
Areas of cooperation include electronic data exchange (ePhyto), e-commerce, sea containers, single window, and communication and advocacy, said WCO in a statement.
In addition, the WCO and IPPC will establish a joint work plan with specified activities focused on advancing their common goals.
“The WCO and IPPC will exchange documents and publications, keeping each other informed of events and activities that may be of mutual interest,” said the statement.
“They will consult each other regularly on matters of common interest and will exchange information on new developments in their fields of activities and on relevant activities and projects,” it added.
The IPPC is a 1951 multilateral treaty deposited with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that aims to secure coordinated, effective action to prevent and to control the introduction and spread of pests of plants and plant products.