Harmonizing processes and data for use across the different modes of transport in international trade would help goods move faster and cheaper. Global experts from the trade and transport sectors converged in Marseille this week to streamline related supply chain processes under the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business’ (UN/CEFACT’s) multimodal transport project. In particular, the project will enable customs and other border agencies to work together in order to achieve a consistent and common framework for data exchange by bridging the gap between the UN/CEFACT Core Component Library and the WCO data model.
“Streamlining logistics is a good example of concrete strategies that make an actual difference,” explains Raffaele Fantetti, the Vice Chair for supply chain. “UN/CEFACT has published a number of recommendations on transport that document best practices worldwide and thereby help traders.”
The meeting was held as part of the 26th UN/CEFACT Forum, where progress was also made in the areas of environment, agriculture, supply chain, regulatory, and sectoral industries.
UN/CEFACT’s numerous and diverse trade facilitation tools have been internationally acknowledged and extensively used for many years: they are continually maintained and developed by hundreds of experts across the world in order to complement outputs produced by related international actors in the trade area such as the: WCO, European Union, Eurasian Economic Commission, IMO, IATA, UIC, BIC, etc. who also participate in the work of UN/CEFACT. By working together, UN/CEFACT and these organizations provide support to countries’ efforts as they plan their commitments under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and as they implement these measures after the TFA comes into force.
The UN/CEFACT Forum took place in Marseille this week (2-6 November) in cooperation with the Government of France. The Forum concluded with a joint meeting on Mediterranean cooperation organized by the Association Francaise du Net and UNECE.
Note to the Editor
The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) provides an environment where public and private sector experts work together, under the guidance of its Plenary and Bureau, in order to develop a body of freely available recommendations and standards. The objective of this work is to reduce regulatory and procedural barriers to trade by providing tools that can be effectively used in current business practice. Its experts conduct projects within Plenary-approved programmes of work, using an open development process (ODP), and respecting an intellectual property rights policy and a code of conduct.
UN/CEFACT’s vision is “Simple, Transparent and Effective Processes for Global Commerce”. Within the United Nations framework under the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe serves as the focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards, covering both commercial and government business processes that can foster growth in international trade and related services. UN/CEFACT provides tools relevant to the entire trading business process from the order to the payment, looking at how to support and improve the entire supply chain process.
UN/CEFACT is a subsidiary, inter-governmental body hosted by UNECE in Geneva. Its experts are mandated to develop a programme of work of global relevance, which promotes improved worldwide coordination and cooperation with other key international players and which ultimately provides the kind of trade facilitation tools needed by countries and the trading community, as an example, for the implementation of the soon-to-enter-into-force WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.