An improved version of the online alert system ePing launched on 13 July, facilitating tracking of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT) measures.

SPS tool ePing provides a single-entry point for users to submit and track information on product requirements while enhancing coordination among government agencies and the private sector.

The platform is a result of collaboration between the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

How does ePing help with sanitary and phytosanitary checks? 

The new SPS and TBT system builds on a previous version of ePing, which was launched in November 2016, merging several TBT and SPS online tools.  

This latest feature makes it easier for users to notify and follow changes in product requirements.

Notably, the new ePing assists businesses, particularly MSMEs, in tracking specific sectors or markets through filtering options. 

Several communication features for sharing information and discussing notified measures are likewise offered. 

How ePing will facilitate access to new WTO measures

WTO members are required to update each other when planning new or amended product requirements for goods entering their markets. 

In 2021, almost 6,000 notifications on updated or new regulations were submitted to the WTO. 

Such high volumes of updates can be difficult to navigate.  

Ms Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations said that stakeholders in the public and private sectors often do not have access to information on product requirements and export markets. 

Mr Jean-Marie Paugam, deputy director-general of the WTO, highlighted the importance of ePing in making crucial trade information available. 

He said: “Businesses, governments and traders want early alerts and better information on changing product requirements in one place. Now, they have it with the new ePing platform.”

In addition to supporting this new streamlined ePing website, UNDESA is further enhancing the system with the development of an ePing smartphone app. 

Ms Dorothy Tembo, ITC deputy executive director, said this additional facet will help “provide up-to-date information that businesses need to stay informed and thereby reduce obstacles to trade.”