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Within the United Nations framework of the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 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.  In this context, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) was established, as a subsidiary, intergovernmental body of the UNECE Committee on Trade, mandated to develop a programme of work of global relevance to achieve improved worldwide coordination and cooperation in these areas.

Recent News

30 April 2015 : 30 April 2015 : A 60 day public review is open for the revised Recommendation No. 4 on National Trade Facilitation Bodies and its Guidelines.
The revised Recommendation suggests that governments establish national trade facilitation bodies (NTFBs) as an indispensable component of trade policy formulation embracing the views and opinions of all stakeholders in pursuing agreement, cooperation and collaboration. Due to the multiplicity of Trade Facilitation bodies that have emerged in countries in recent years (e.g. Coordination Committees for Single Window, National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committees, National Logistics Councils, and so on) there is increased demand for a national platform, which will be the main coordinating body for any trade facilitation reforms, thus facilitating effective consultation among public and private sector stakeholders. The Recommendation and guidelines provide a detailed description of the steps for establishing NTFBs, in line with the letter of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement adopted in November 2014. The guidelines also include a non-exhaustive list of terms of reference for the NTFB for direct use or customization by countries based on national contexts.
The final draft text of the Recommendation and the guidelines for public review, as well as the template for all comments are available in the Public Review section of the project.
Comments should be submitted to the Project Editor, Khan Salehin using the Public Review Comment Submission Template.

30 April 2015 : A 60 day public review is open for the recommendation project on Public Private Partnership in Trade Facilitation.
This project studies the application of classic Public Private Partnership models to specific trade facilitation measures and specifically the various risks to be considered when thinking of this type of financing. It further proposes a methodology for assessing the implementation of a Public Private Partnership for Trade Facilitation measures. Within the context of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement adopted in November 2014, Trade Facilitation is a central aspect for the future of international trade. Financing these projects will increasingly be a challenge, especially for transitional and developing economies. This recommendation project aims to provide a contribution in this sense.
The final draft text of the recommendation and the guidelines for public review and the template for all comments are available.
Comments should be submitted to the Project Editor, Paloma Bernal Turnes using the Public Review Comment Template.
21 April 2015: This week in Geneva, the 25th Forum of UN/CEFACT gathered some 130 experts from more than 30 countries, intergovernmental organizations and the private sector in order to finalise a set of technical standards and recommendations which will support implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA).
The numerous and comprehensive UN/CEFACT’s trade facilitation tools have been internationally acknowledged and extensively used for a long time: they keep being openly designed by hundreds of experts in the world in order to complement outputs produced by other key international players -which actively attended the event (like WCO, UNCTAD, ITC, IMO, IATA,etc.)- and ultimately provide support to countries’ efforts both as they plan their commitments under the WTO TFA and as they implement these measures after the TFA has come into force.
The CEFACT continues to promote the "Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide", which will be working through an updated version of the website.
The 25th Forum also brought some major advances in the fields of transport, agriculture, tourism, supply chain, insurance, procurement and finance. These included: developing a data reference model to facilitate multimodal transport; improving the traceability of animal and animal products by fostering related information exchange; and defining how trade finance can be integrated into current trade facilitation frameworks and practices. All projects and activities are registered in the CEFACT publicly-accessible "Confluence" website.
Many experts to UN/CEFACT were able to participate in two successful parallel events: the Meeting of the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade (GFP) and the UN/LOCODE Conference, respectively. The next Forum will take place in Marseille, France, on 2-6 November 2015.