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Trade home

The Trade programme, implemented by Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, works to develop closer economic relations among member States, as well as to better integrate their economies into the world economy. The trade programme's inter-governmental bodies make policy recommendations, develop standards for use in trade and assist member States in implementing them. These bodies also suggest ways and means of creating legal and administrative frameworks for fostering trade. Work includes a range of activities to assist member States with: trade facilitation; regulatory and standards policy; commercial agricultural standards; and e-business standards.

In focus

WP.6 hosted a successful annual forum of its subgroups from 22 to 26 May 2023. Three webinars (Back to Basics, Risk Management and Gender Action Plans) and annual meetings of GRM, GRS, MARS, START and START-ED. All of the presentations are available on the event web pages and the reports are being prepared for the WP.6 Annual Session meeting.

The 40th UN/CEFACT Forum has concluded, and we would like to thank all participants for your contribution to its success! This Jubilee Forum brought together a record level of 350 in-person participants from 55 countries as well as 1,500 remote participants from across the globe.

Most of the 25 UN/CEFACT projects have made significant progress during the Forum and at least 10 new project proposals were developed. Several emerging topics have been presented in over 35 insightful discussions and engaging sessions, which will certainly shape our work in the months to come.

As we look ahead, please save the date for the forthcoming activities of UN/CEFACT:

  • 41th UN/CEFACT Forum, Bangkok, Thailand, 2-6 October 2023.
  • 29th UN/CEFACT Plenary Session, Geneva, Switzerland, 9-10 November 2023.

The 2023 Survey is conducted based on an updated questionnaire, developed by the UN Regional Commissions in cooperation with UNCTAD, ICC, OECD and many other collaborating institutions , which can be found below on this page with language versions.

This year’s Survey covers 60 measures including two new sets of measures on Trade Facilitation for E-Commerce’ and ‘Wildlife Trade Facilitation’, referring to measures related to the facilitation of cross-border e-commerce and the applications of electronic CITES permits and certificates.

Launch of the 2023 UN Global Survey on digital and sustainable trade facilitation.


  • UN/CEFACT has recently published several White Papers, Guidelines and Executive Guides which are available on the website
  • UN/CEFACT has over a dozen active projects ranging from Single Window recommendations to eQuality Certificates and Sustainable tourism to Blockchain. If you are interested in joining our work, please contact us at [email protected] 
  • UNECE is keen to present one solution: the [email protected] – a digital blockchain-powered food loss and waste management system. It is designed to identify and quantify the food which disappears on its way from the farm to our shops, the currently “invisible” food and make it available for redistributing, donating or further processing.
    Please also check the latest food loss and waste [email protected] video.
  • The 17th MARS Group meeting in Moscow showcased coordination possibilities of market surveillance worldwide with the example of the EU, addressed product non-compliance risk in international trade and the use of WP.6 Recommendations R, P, S and T in creating risk-based import compliance frameworks using predictive risk management tools. The meeting also outlined the important role of standards in the market surveillance agencies’ work.
  • Working Party 6, in collaboration with the Kyrgyz Economic University, organized a Workshop on Women Entrepreneurship which raised awareness regarding the challenges faced by women in business, when trading internationally, and identify measures to build capacity for increased female entrepreneurship.
  • New brochure on “Gender Responsive Standards”: Standards are often developed by technical committees where the participation of women is far below parity. Very few methodologies exist to probe if standards respond to gendered needs and to correct any gender bias in standards. The UNECE marked “World Standards Day” by raising awareness about UNECE Gender Responsive Standards Declaration, which aims at making standards work for women.
  • New brochure on “Standards for Sustainable Development”: The UNECE marked World Standards Day by launching the Standards for the SDGs Portal a vital awareness-raising tool, that allows UNECE and other standards developing organizations to highlight how their work helps advance Agenda 2030 and shares stories about successful implementation. All users are invited to use the available templates to submit information to be added to the portal.