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Launching e-certification system: A collaborative “game changer” between South Africa and the Netherlands

On 9 May 2022 South Africa launched an e-certification system that it developed in collaboration with the Netherlands. According to Food Business, this system is a “game changer for local and foreign inspectors who have to process fruit and vegetable exports”.

The system has been operational since 2018. It is already used for trade with various countries across the world. More than half a billion e-certificates have already been issued.

e-Certification Stakeholders

The system is a fruit of strong relationships between South African Ministry of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. As she presented her annual budget vote in Parliament, on 12 May 2022, SA’s Minister of Agriculture, Thoko Didiza, remarks:

In 2016, we commenced a process of negotiating an e-certification with the Netherlands, in order to ease the burden of inspection in support of trade. Working together with Industry, we have finally launched the e-certification on Monday, 9 May 2022. This digital tool has come at an opportune time, given the Covid-19 pandemic, where inspection across borders has become even more difficult. South Africa is now one of the few countries that will now use e-certification for trade.

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