Ethiopia has launched the development of Integrated Export and Import Certification System (IEICS), also known as the e-Phyto system. This digital initiative, a collaboration between the Ethiopian Agricultural Authority (EAA), and TradeMark Africa (TMA), aims to streamline the trade process for agricultural exports and imports.

The project is funded by the European Union, through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), with ETB 9.1 million. This digital shift will replace traditional paper-based certification processes, significantly reducing transaction costs and in the long run, carbon emissions.

The e-Phyto system represents a leap forward for Ethiopia’s agricultural sector. By embracing digital solutions, Ethiopia seeks to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and foster transparency across the entire agricultural value chain. Through integration with international phytosanitary certificate systems, the e-Phyto system will provide end-to-end paperless services for both import and export certification, from application submission to certificate issuance.

Speaking on the project, EU delegation represented through Abiy Tesfaye said, “The introduction of the e-Phyto system, funded by the European Union, marks the readiness of Ethiopia to use state of the art systems to fully participate in global trade. This digital certification tool opens a gateway for Ethiopia to compete on the global stage, driving economic growth and sustainability in agriculture. We are proud to support this initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ethiopian Agricultural Authority that not only enhances Ethiopia’s trade competitiveness but also establishes a foundation for enduring economic empowerment and environmental stewardship.”

The e-Phyto system is also designed to connect with the e-Phyto hub, facilitating the sharing of issued certificates with international counterparts, thereby streamlining the export process. Three implementation options are currently under consideration: adopting the GENS platform, customizing solutions used in Kenya, or developing a bespoke system tailored to Ethiopia’s specific needs. Consultations with agricultural ministries in Kenya and Uganda are also ongoing to refine these options.