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UNECE and partners working to simplify trade in the Black Sea region

UNECE and partners working to simplify trade in the Black Sea region

National Single Windows (NSW) simplify import and export transactions by making it easier to input all regulatory and commercial information at a single electronic point. Ensuring the compatibility (or “interoperability”) of this information between countries can drive international trade.

Experts and officials from member States of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) have initiated work in support of interoperability of Single Window systems for import, export and transit clearance in their region. Taking place at a joint UNECE-BSEC seminar on trade facilitation and Single Window interoperability held in Istanbul on 21 September 2017, these efforts continue the long-term cooperation between the two organizations on trade facilitation.  

Experts and Single Window project managers from UNECE, BSEC, the World Customs Organization, the European Commission, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and the other countries exchanged experiences, information on international standards and best practices, and drew up recommendations for further action.

In particular, they underlined the business case for Single Window interoperability in the region: there are projects for establishing Single Window systems in practically all BSEC countries, and there is already high levels of trade among the countries. For example, almost half of the trade of Moldova (48% of exports) and Georgia (46%), a quarter of the trade of Ukraine, and about 10% of the trade of Russia and Turkey is with other BSEC countries. Yet trade within the region is often hampered by lack of trust and the limited exchange of information.

The experts exchanged views on new tools, which will support the development of Single Window systems, including UNECE Recommendation 36 on Single Window interoperability, which encourages the use of international trade data exchange standards and processes. The recommendations of the seminar focused on ways of fostering work on these elements to advance interoperability in the BSEC region.

Ms Bebekoglu, Chairperson of the SPECA WG on Trade and Economic Development, and Ambassador Christides, Secretary General of  BSEC, thanked UNECE for organizing the seminar, and suggested ways for implementing its recommendations.  

Member States of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) are: Albania; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Georgia; Greece; Moldova; Romania; Russia; Serbia; Turkey; and Ukraine.