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STDF Electronic Certification Project

International veterinary certificates describing the animal health and public health requirements that are fulfilled by the exported commodities are essential to ensure safe international trade. Increasingly electronic certification is being used to provide the electronic exchange of data sent directly from the Competent Authority of the exporting country to the Competent Authority of the importing country.

Electronic veterinary (e-veterinary) certification is not commonly used in the animal health area and the understanding of its implementation among Veterinary Services is limited. In addition, implementing of e-veterinary certification can be challenging particularly in developing countries where it can be technically complex and expensive.

In 2016 and 2017, during OIE General Session, OIE Members expressed the need for more concrete guidance and support from the OIE for establishing e-veterinary certification systems that would improve their participation in international trade. This lead to the development and approval of the WTO Standards Trade Development Facility (STDF) project on the ‘Development of a framework to facilitate e-veterinary certification for international trade on the basis of a single window system’. The project aimed to gain a better understating of current practices implemented by some OIE Members, both developed and developing, as well as relevant work in other international organizations on e-certification and single window.

The implementation of the STDF project (STDF/PG/609) was managed by the OIE on behalf of the five applicant countries Cambodia, Eswatini, Nigeria, Paraguay and Zimbabwe.

The project was designed to share experiences and gather information on some Members understanding and implementation of e-veterinary certification, as the basis for facilitating the future development of a e-veterinary certification use in a single window system, including recommendations for Veterinary Authorities, the OIE and investors.

For this purpose, eleven countries both developed and developing countries were part of country surveys through a questionnaire and, in the case of five developing countries, visits by experts on certification and single window. Additionally, a desk-based study on relevant activities of other international organisations namely, International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Codex Alimentarius, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and World Customs Organisation (WCO)was undertaken.

The findings including drivers for e-certification and challenges faced by Members as well of an overview of the main activities of other relevant international organisations are covered in the final report which also contains recommendations for OIE Members and the OIE to consider to address this important area of work. 

Click here to access the final report of this project.

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