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UN/CEFACT Conference on Single Window: From Border-Crossing Supporting Documents to legally significant data exchange

23 April 2018

Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

UN/CEFACT has developed a number of trade facilitation recommendations on Single Window over the past 15 years. The underlying principle of a Single Window, as outlined in Recommendation 33 is to consolidate through a single entry point, all the regulatory information which is required for merchandise which is crossing the border. This has been interpreted by some implementers as a consolidation of the documentation which is required and effectively creating electronic equivalents of each paper document as defined by regulations. This does provide a certain level of facilitation to administrations and traders; however, information on paper documents is often repeated on other documents. So traders are effectively sending the same information multiple times, using the same business processes as used for the paper process.

This half-day conference intends to bring to light this situation and the reasons for it. We shall look at the regulations behind some of the more frequent supporting documents such as TIR or CMR or Invoice or Agricultural Certificates. We shall discuss possible ways of avoiding duplication of information through the using of legally significant data, rather than electronic documents as used for the paper process. We shall invite some countries to share their experiences. Then brainstorm on the best way forward in an aim to try to test the principles set forward in Recommendation 34 on Data Harmonization and Standardization.

Target Audience
Single Window implementers and international trade professionals.

The conference is being organized by: the UNECE Trade Facilitation Section secretariat, in coordination with the UN/CEFACT Single Window Domain.



14:00 – 14:10 - Welcome Address

  • Ivonne Higuero, UNECE Economic Cooperation and Trade Division Director
  • Princesse Estelle Igwe, Vice Chair of UN/CEFACT

14:10 - 14:25 – Keynote address

  • H.E. Mr. Daniiar Mukashev, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations and Other International Organization in Geneva

14:25 - 15:30 – Round Table 1

Initiatives on dematerializing cross-border document exchange

  • Mats Wicktor, Swedish Customs, “Dematerialization within the NSW”
  • Ibrahima Diagne, Gainde2000, “Dematerializing Documents and the NSW”
  • Kaye Cheri, Conex, “Information exchange through the Data Pipeline principle”
  • Tom Butterly, TDAF Consulting, “Developing a Business Model for the FAO ePhyto Certificate”
  • UNECE Transport Division, “Dematerialization of Transport Documents”


16:00 - 16:30 – Round Table 2

Achieving legally significant data exchange that stands in court

  • Aleksandr Sazonov, EEC, “Common trust infrastructure for trading support data exchange”
  • Markus Pikart, CITES, “Equivalent of physical signatures and seals in CITES electronic permits and certificates”

16:30 - 17:15 Debate

Key challenges and fundamental requirements

17:15 - 17:30 Conclusions

  • Lance Thompson, UNECE secretariat, UN/CEFACT Support Unit