- The Meeting of Experts (GE.2) held its fifty-third session in Geneva on 18 September 1996 under
the chairmanship of Mr. E. Goffin (Belgium).
- The session was attended by representatives from: Austria, Belgium,
Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the
United States of America.
- The session was attended by representatives of the European Union (EU).
- Representatives from Australia, Brazil, Gabon, Japan and Korea participated
under Article 11 of the Commission's terms of reference.
- The session was also attended by representatives of the secretariat of the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United
Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as well as by
representatives of the following intergovernmental organizations: European Free
Trade Association (EFTA) and the World Customs Organization (WCO). The following
non-governmental organizations were represented: International Air Transport
Association (IATA), International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH),
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Chamber of Shipping
(ICS), International Express Carriers Conference (IECC), International
Organization for Standardization (ISO), Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial
Telecommunication (S.W.I.F.T.), and the United Towns Agency for North-South
Cooperation. Also present at the invitation of the secretariat were a
representative of the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA) and
a representative of the North American Trade Procedures Organization (NATPRO).
Item 1 - Adoption of the agenda
- The provisional agenda (TRADE/WP.4/GE.2/104/Rev.1) was adopted with the
incorporation of item 4(d) Recommendation No.16 "UN/LOCODE - Code for ports and
other locations" and the understanding that item 7 "Legal/commercial aspects of
trade facilitation" had been deferred to a joint session of GE.1/GE.2. The Report
of the Joint Session of GE.1/GE.2 on 19 September 1996 is appended to the Reports
of the fifty-fourth sessions of GE.1 and GE.2.
Item 2 - Programme of work and priorities
Documents: - Recommendations for the establishment of CEFACT (TRADE/WP.4/R.1234)
- In his introduction, the Chairman of the Meeting of Experts commented on
document TRADE/WP.4/R.1234, Recommendations on the establishment of the Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (CEFACT). He explained that this document was the outcome of long
discussions, and that it was now time for delegations to take the final decision.
- The Chairman added that this matter should further be debated during the
session of the Working Party on Thursday afternoon 19 September 1996 and on
Friday 20 September 1996. Having noted that document TRADE/WP.4/R.1234 did not
contain a detailed Programme of work, he invited delegations to comment on the
programme issues of this document.
- Several delegations participated in the discussion of the future programme
of work of the Centre.
- A representative of the delegation of the United Kingdom suggested that ITT
Modelling methods should be used for establishing programme elements. He also
underlined the importance of the implementation of WP.4 Recommendations No.8
"Unique identification code methodology - UNIC", No.11 "Documentary aspects of
transport of dangerous goods" and No.12 "Measures to facilitate transport
- In commenting on the organizational structure of CEFACT, the WCO
representative indicated that it would be difficult for the vice-chair nominated
by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to adequately represent
their constituency. She suggested that intergovernmental organizations such as
WCO should be represented at the CEFACT Steering Group.
Item 3 - Analysis of the International Trade Transaction (ITT)
- - Report of the Steering group on International Trade Transaction
(ITT) Modelling (TRADE/WP.4/CRP.103)
- - Concordance between commercial documents and UN/EDIFACT messages
- In his introduction of document TRADE/WP.4/CRP.103, the Convenor of the
Steering group reported on the main actions undertaken by the group following the
decisions of the March 1996 GE.2 session. At its meeting held on 19-20 June
1996, the Steering group had reviewed the information on the development of
electronic ITT models. The Convenor noted that, during that meeting, the Steering
Group had developed a draft programme of work to be incorporated in the future
Programme of work of CEFACT. During that meeting, the suggestion was made to
implement a new method (Matrix method) for the revision of Recommendation No.18.
The use of the World Wide Web Network for further promotion of ITT Modelling was
also underlined. In the course of the Convenor's statement, many members of the
Steering Group gave a briefing on the achievements of the ITT Modelling.
- The Convenor also underlined the need for further developments of the
aligned international trade documents systems, especially for countries in
transition, as a preliminary step, in many cases, for the introduction of EDI.
- Several delegations participated in the discussion and favourably commented
on the results achieved by the Steering group and the importance of this GE.2
- The Chairman of GE.1, on behalf of the Meeting of Experts on Data Elements
and Automatic Data Interchange, supported the close cooperation between the
experts of GE.1 and GE.2 experts in this field. He stated that it might be
fruitful for the implementation of the UN/EDIFACT developments.
- The Meeting recommended that the Steering group continue its activities on
the issues indicated in the report in close cooperation with GE.1 experts and
report again in March 1997. The next meeting of the Steering group will take
place in November 1996. The Meeting thanked the ECE Regional Adviser on Trade
Facilitation, Mr. W. Keenan, as well as a member of the delegation of the United
Kingdom, Ms. M. Brewster for the excellent demonstration they did on the use of
the World Wide Web and modern modelling techniques. A member of the secretariat,
Mr. J. Kubler, was thanked for the introduction of the Matrix method in the ITT
Modelling and the proposal for the revision of Recommendation No.18 "Facilitation
measures related to international trade procedures" based on this matrix.
Item 4 - Implementation of ECE/FAL Recommendations
Document: - Methodology for estimating costs and benefits of trade facilitation
- The representative of IECC introduced document TRADE/WP.4/R.1260, which
analyses gains on Trade Efficiency as found in the UNCTAD Statistical Pocket Book
(TD/STAT/PB.1). These estimates were based on the publication of Fact Sheet 5,
presented to the United Nations International Symposium on Trade Efficiency (17-
21 October 1994). His feeling was that the cost/value relationships, relied upon
by UNCTAD were questionable. Moreover, any calculations which seek to apply
documentary and procedural costs, ascertained in respect of manufactured/consumer
goods to world trade, as a whole, were unsustainable. He stated that a
clarification was needed not to mislead multinational companies and small
businesses participating in international trade.
- A representative of the delegation of Romania supported the IECC judgements
and underlined the need for the development of a tool for measuring costs of
international trade and benefits from trade facilitation. He proposed to
continue work on this subject.
- Many delegations participated in the discussion and gave additional
examples of estimating costs and benefits of trade facilitation. The common view
was to promote trade facilitation in general terms for all industrial sectors, as
it would be difficult to develop a unique method.
- At the proposal of the Chairman, the Meeting agreed to introduce an item on
the development of a methodology for the estimation of costs and benefits of
trade facilitation in the future Programme of work; an appropriate working group
could be included in the structure of CEFACT.
(a) Recommendation No. 4 "National Trade Facilitation Organizations"
Document: - List of National Trade Facilitation Committees and Focal Points
- The Meeting noted document TRADE/WP.4/R.898/Rev.7, the list of existing
committees and focal points, prepared by the secretariat. Delegations were asked
to send to the secretariat the contact information on their national trade
facilitation bodies, including E-mail addresses. The need for the revision of
this Recommendation was underlined, especially in view of the establishment of
CEFACT. The attention was drawn to new information regarding World Wide Web pages
included in the document.
- The Chairman requested the secretariat to continue work on the maintenance
of the list and to submit its updated version to the next session of GE.2.
- The secretariat drew attention to the Trafix homepage where delegations
include information on national Trade Facilitation bodies. Further, it offered
assistance to delegations in hosting their respective homepages, should they lack
technical means to upload information on the World Wide Web.
- A representative from the delegation of the United Kingdom emphasized the
need to modernize Recommendation No.4 which he found outdated.
(b) Recommendation No.10 "Ships' codes"
Document: - Revision of WP.4/Recommendation No.10 "Code for ship's names"
- The representative of ICS introduced document TRADE/WP.4/R.1253, containing
proposals for the revision of this Recommendation. He explained that WP.4, at its
forty-fourth session in March 1996, had agreed to recommend the use of the IMO's
Ship Identification Number Scheme for the unique identification of ships.
- The Meeting agreed to adopt the proposal and the Chairman requested the
secretariat to prepare a new revised version of the Recommendation to be
submitted to the next session in the official format. Further, he thanked the
delegations of ICS for their valuable contribution.
(c) Recommendation No.12 "Measures to facilitate transport documents procedures"
Document: - Implementation of ECE/FAL Recommendation No.12 (TRADE/WP.4/R.1218)
- The Chairman explained that, for the time being, the Meeting had no written
contributions on the subject, but that this topic was crucial in respect of
the implementation of non-negotiable documentation in the area of maritime
transport. He proposed to keep this item on the agenda for the next meeting of GE.2.
(d) Recommendation No.16 "UN/LOCODE - Codes for ports and other locations"
- The Chairman informed the Meeting that some participants had requested that
the subject of UN/LOCODE should be addressed, despite the fact that it did not
appear on the agenda for the meeting.
- The representative of ICS stated that the UN/LOCODE was vital for the shipping
industry; its expansion from a modest start to a broader and broader coverage had
led to its daily use in world trade. ICS therefore supported the continued work on
UN/LOCODE and suggested that it should deserve a more focused attention, possibly
through the creation of an appropriate function within the proposed CEFACT
- He drew the attention to some more specific problems noted in the current
issue of UN/LOCODE and expressed concern about a large number of locations marked
for deletion in some country lists. Users had informed the ICS that many of these
were actually in use and that their deletion might hamper trade operations. The use
of diacritic signs in place names also created problems, as many users were not
familiar with such signs and could not handle them with their data processing and
- The representative of Australia recalled that the question of providing
UN/LOCODE entries for off-shore oil rigs had been brought up for some time.
Australia would now need code allocations for a number of installations, all located
in Australian territorial waters. He had noted that Recommendation No. 16 provided
a function identifier (7) for fixed transport functions, e.g. oil platforms.
- The representative of IATA informed the meeting that it had been agreed within
his organisation to propose a Recommended Practice, stating that IATA will work in
co-operation with the United Nations on the establishment and maintenance of a data
base for a coding system based on the UN/LOCODE; he recommended that Computer
Reservation Systems and other transport providers should use the UN/LOCODE for
purposes outside the normal allocation procedure for IATA 3-letter location
identifiers, which would be maintained for the foreseeable future.
- The WP.4 Consultant on UN/LOCODE, Mr. G. Roos (Sweden), responding to the
questions raised, explained that some discrepancies had been found in the current
version of UN/LOCODE and that every effort would be made to eliminate them from the
- As to the code requests for off shore oil rigs, the Consultant suggested
that code elements should be allocated provisionally and that the question should
be adressed at a future meeting.
- A discussion with IATA experts had led to the question of code capacity. The
Recommended Practice proposed by IATA could lead to a very large number of code
requests and it could not be excluded that, for some countries, the 17576 possible
permutations with a 3-letter code would not suffice. Instead of using alpha-numeric
codes or expanding to four letters (which would be either inadequate, too costly or
too complicated), it had been suggested that "substitute" country codes could be
introduced, by using the next available letter in the alphabet (e.g. UT for US, DF
for DE, etc). This was not a matter of immediate concern but might require
consideration at a future meeting.
- The Chairman, summing up the discussion, noted with satisfaction the
widespread support for the work on UN/LOCODE and the need to provide for continued
work through appropriate arrangements, e.g. by convening an ad hoc Working group of
interested experts in the framework of CEFACT.
(e) Recommendation No. 17 "PAYTERMS - Abbreviations for Terms of Payment"
Document: - Revision of Recommendation No.17 (TRADE/WP.4/CRP.112)
- A representative of the ad hoc group on this subject introduced document
TRADE/WP.4/CRP.112 on the codification of Terms of Payment and the updating of
Recommendation No.17. The urgent need for clear definitions of Terms of Payment was
- A representative of Norway asked the ad hoc group to continue its efforts to
develop codes for Terms of Payment. He expressed the wish of his delegation to
participate in the activities of the ad hoc group.
- The delegation of Romania supported the revision of this Recommendation and
proposed to collect and analyze all known codification systems for Terms of Payment.
- The Chairman concluded that this activity should be maintained in the
framework of CEFACT by a working group on the subject with the participation of the
delegations of Romania, Austria, France, Belgium, Norway and of the secretariat.
(f) Recommendation No.18 "Facilitation measures related to international trade procedures"
- Questionnaire on pre-shipment inspection (TRADE/WP.4/R.1255)
- Operation of the Independent Entity established under Article 4 of the
Agreement on Preshipment Inspection (TRADE/WP.4/R.1256)
- The representative of the World Trade Organization introduced document
TRADE/WP.4/R.1255 (Operation of the Independent Entity Established under Article 4
of the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection). She informed the session about the
origin and major provisions of the Agreement. As the creation of the Independent
Entity is a relatively novel possibility (which became operational in May 1996),
there is little experience to assess its operation.
- The Meeting discussed the revision of Recommendation No. 18, in particular,
the preshipment inspection, including the cost and time-frame for this procedure.
The Questionnaire, contained in document TRADE/WP.4/1255, was also discussed. The
debate led to the following three decisions:
- The withdrawal of document TRADE/WP.4/1255.
- The creation of an ad hoc group consisting of the representatives of the
United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, France, Romania, Germany, IFIA, the
secretariat and the EU to look into the issue of preshipment inspection.
- Following the proposal from the Vice-chair of GE.2, it was agreed to inform
WTO of WP.4 activities in this area in relation to the review of the
implementation of the Agreement on PSI.
- The Meeting also noted that the general revision of Recommendation No.18 is a
very important task to be carried out in cooperation with the Steering Group on the
(g) Recommendation No.20 "Codes for units of measurement used in international trade"
- - Draft revision of Recommendation No.20 (TRADE/WP.4/R.1224)
- - Request for inclusion in Recommendation No.20 (TRADE/WP.4/CRP.113)
- A member of the secretariat explained that, although the revised version of
this Recommendation had been formally approved at the March 1996 session of GE.1,
the translations into official languages of the addendum to document
TRADE/WP.4/R.1224 had not been achieved before this session due to the big volume of
documentation. The Meeting should revert to this subject again at the next session
in March 1997.
- A representative of the delegation of Germany introduced document
TRADE/WP.4/CRP.113, containing a request for its inclusion in Recommendation No.20.
He explained that the document was for information and not for decision. He proposed
to reconsider the proposal at the next meeting.
- The Chairman asked the secretariat to issue the proposal in the series of WP.4
working documents and to provide the translation of the above-mentioned addendum for
the GE.2 session in March 1996.
Item 5 - Revision of the Kyoto Convention
Document: - Revision of the Kyoto Convention (TRADE/WP.4/CRP.108)
- The representative of the delegation of the Netherlands introduced document
TRADE/WP.4/CRP.108 which presented one of the three possible ways for the revision
of the Kyoto Convention on Customs procedures. This document contains a Dutch
compromise proposal for the structure of a revised Convention. The other two
possibilities are (i) leaving the structure of the Convention as it is and (ii)
drafting an entirely new Convention. The structure will be one of the main topics of
discussion during the meeting of the WCO working group on the revision of the Kyoto
Convention in October 1996 in Brussels.
- He stressed that Customs procedures are part of trade procedures and that
further simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures will contribute to
the overall trade facilitation process. Equally, ECE/CEFACT could bring a useful
input in the WCO debates on this topic in several aspects. He therefore felt that
ECE/CEFACT should liaise through an ad hoc or permanent group with WCO;
nevertheless, duplication of work between the two bodies must be avoided and
complementarity fostered. Sweden expressed interest in participating in such a
working group. The representative of WCO stressed the importance of avoiding
duplication in the work of the two bodies, but was aware of the value of the Dutch
- It was decided that the delegation of the Netherlands with the collaboration
of Sweden and the WCO would prepare terms of reference and mandate for an ad hoc
Working group for the March 1997 session.
Item 6 - Trade documents names and functions
- At the request of the Chairman, who explained that this subject had been
covered by the discussion on agenda item 4 "Analysis of the International Trade
Transaction (ITT)", it was agreed to revert to this item at the next session.
Item 7 - Aligned forms and the Trade Data Elements Directory (UNTDED)
- Purchase Order Layout (TRADE/WP.4/R.1258)
- Single Administrative Document for Customs Declaration
- Enquiry/Request for Quote (TRADE/WP.4/R.1261)
- Offer/Quotation (TRADE/WP.4/R.1259)
- The representative of the delegation of Romania introduced all above-mentioned
documents and indicated that UNTDED was a valuable source of information for the
development of aligned international trade documents and electronic messages. He
assured the Meeting that his delegation would continue this work.
- Several delegations supported the initiative of the delegation of Romania. The
delegations of the European Union and UNCTAD agreed to comment on document
TRADE/WP.4/R.1259, Single Administrative Document for Customs Declaration, for the
preparation of its new version. The delegation of France drew the attention of the
secretariat to the problem of the alignment of the phitosanitary certificate and the
need to inform the appropriate international organizations.
- Taking into account the progress reached by the delegation of Romania in this
area, the Meeting agreed to revert to this item at the next session.
Item 8 - Legal and commercial aspects of trade facilitation
Document: - Report from the Legal Rapporteurs (TRADE/WP.4/CRP.102)
- This item was considered at the joint session of GE.1 and GE.2 on legal
matters on 19 September 1996. The Report of this joint session is reproduced in the
Annex to this Report.
Item 9 - Other business
Recommendation No.21"Codes for types of cargo, packages and packaging materials"
Documents: - Proposal for amendments to Annex I and II of Recommendation No.21
"Codes for types of cargo, packages and packaging materials"
- In the introduction of document TRADE/WP.4/R.1263, the representative of the
delegation of Germany indicated that, in Recommendation No.21, passengers are
classified as cargo and assigned to the type of "Mobil self-propelled units". In
order to alter the inappropriate assignment within the classification system, the
proposal was made to include a separate category for passengers in addition to
- At the proposal of the Chairman, supported by ICS, the Meeting agreed to ask
the secretariat to amend Annex I and II of the Recommendation and to submit them for
approval by the next session of GE.2 in March 1996.
Publication of WP.4/Recommendations
- In accordance with the decision taken by WP.4 at the session in September
1994, the secretariat informed the Meeting that all the Recommendations approved by
the Working Party had been published in document ECE/TRADE/200.
Meeting dates and deadlines
- The secretariat informed delegations of the following WP.4 meeting dates and
deadlines for document submission:
Week beginning Translation Issuance as WP.4 Document
Monday 17 March 1997 15 December 1996 15 January 1997
- Contact information for submission of comments, as requested in the above Report:
For the Programme of Work and Priorities and the revision of Recommendation No.17
Mr. Emile GOFFIN, Chairman of GE.2
Directeur général adjoint
Office belge du commerce extérieur
162, Bd. Emile Jacqmain, Bte 36
Fax: +32 2 217 61 23
For analysis of the International Trade Transaction (ITT):
Mr. Dumitrache DIMA
Vice-Chairman of WP.4
Vice Président ROMPRO
Ministère du Commerce
Romanian Foreign Trade Centre
17, Apolodor Str.
70661 BUCAREST, Sect 5
Fax: +401 311 1491
For revision of the Kyoto Convention:
Mr. Ari Van Bellen
Secretary General SITPRONETH
Senior Advisor EDIFORUM
P.O. Box 262
N-2266 J LEIDSCHENDAM
Fax: +31 70 327 6965
For UN/LOCODE - Code for ports and other locations:
Mr. Ernst SMIRNOV
Trade Facilitation Section
Un/ECE Trade Division
Palais des Nations, Office 440
1211 Geneva 10
Fax: +41 22 917 00 37
Copies of contributions should also be sent to the secretariat of WP.4.
Item 10 - Adoption of the Report of the fifty-fourth session
- The report of the GE.2 was adopted on 20 September 1996 on the basis of a
draft prepared by the secretariat.
REPORT OF THE JOINT GE.1 AND GE.2 SESSION
ON LEGAL AND COMMERCIAL ASPECTS OF TRADE FACILITATION
(19 September 1996)
TRADE/WP.4/CRP 102 Legal Rapporteurs Report
- The joint session was chaired by Mrs. B. Curry, Vice-Chair of WP.4.
- The Legal Rapporteurs, Ms. Troye and Mr. Sorieul, reported on
activities related to WP.4's legal programme of work during the past six
months. Their report focused on the outcome of the discussions held at the
meetings of the Legal Rapporteurs Team (LRT) in Brussels (May 1996) and
Helsinki (September 1996); and is summarized below:
- WP.4 Re-Engineering Process (Trade/WP.4/R.1234): Further to the
discussions at the Helsinki JRT meeting, the Legal Rapporteurs recommended
that the LRT should remain an autonomous group, i.e. a permanent Working
Group under CEFACT, to preserve its special function and role as a forum for
discussing a number of issues of common interest to EDI and Trade
Facilitation. At the Helsinki LRT Meeting, it was also recommended that the
current LRT programme of work be reviewed to take into account new
developments. At the next JRT Meeting in Singapore, the draft terms of
reference and the draft programme of work of the LRT would be drawn up.
- Recommendation 26 (Interchange Agreement): The Legal Rapporteurs
summarized recent progress made in the area of interchange agreements based
on Recommendation 26, which included the development of a model interchange
agreement by Norway; the finalization by Sweden of a similar agreement and
the preliminary work undertaken by Denmark with respect to the elaboration of
a generic Technical Annex. The Rapporteurs also raised the issue of how
Recommendation 26 would fit into the wider scope of electronic commerce and
suggested that the model interchange agreement should be examined in that
perspective. They also described the on-going monitoring of the development
of standard communications agreements between users and service providers by
the Legal Rapporteurs and UNCITRAL.
- Negotiable Documents: The Legal Rapporteurs briefly outlined the four
initiatives monitored by the LRT, which included: the BOLERO scheme; the ICC-
E100 project; SITPRO's proposal on the replacement of paper-based letters of
credit; and the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce. Although the
BOLERO scheme is a commercial project, the Legal Rapporteurs considered it
necessary to closely follow generic legal issues linked to the scheme which
could have wider legal implications, especially for EDI users. The
Rapporteurs also summarized the work of UNCITRAL in this field. It was noted
that UNCITRAL had recently adopted legal provisions regarding the replacement
of paper documents by electronic equivalents for both negotiable and non-
negotiable transport documents. As concerns the ICC-E100 project, the Legal
Rapporteurs noted that contacts had been successfully established with the
ICC, with the view to developing cooperation. The cooperation needs to be
- International Trade - National Legal and Commercial Practice Barriers:
The analysis of the data received had proved to be a more complex task than
anticipated because of the combination of quantitative and qualitative data.
As the preliminary work to start this analysis was now completed, a progress
report on quantitative data could be expected at the next session.
- Electronic Authentication- Defining electronic messages and their
signatures: The Legal Rapporteurs noted that document TRADE/WP.4/R.1096 had
initially focused on transport law and its scope should be broadened to
include other international conventions dealing with definitions of writings,
signatures and documents in the field of international trade law. The Legal
Rapporteurs mentioned that an inventory of these international instruments
would be prepared for discussion at the next JRT session and document
TRADE/WP.4/R.1096 would be updated accordingly. The UN/ECE secretariat
reported that several responses from international organizations to a
questionnaire dealing with these issues had been received, however there was
still follow-up to be done. The Legal Rapporteurs also pointed to the
complexity of international treaty law issues involved in reviewing and re-
discussing already adopted international conventions and noted that advice
might be needed in due course as to how the requirements for writings and
signatures could be circumvented without entering into a revision of those
- Cooperation with other international bodies: As mentioned above,
cooperation with ICC, especially with reference to the ICC-E 100 project,
needed to be enhanced to avoid duplication and provide each body with
opportunities to contribute to each other's projects. The Legal Rapporteurs
reported that the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce had been adopted
in June 1996 and was available in its English version under:
http://www.un.or.at./uncitral. Copies of the model law and its Guide to
Enactment in all official languages would be circulated at the next session.
- Other projects: With reference to judicial messages, it was noted that
the two messages for court procedures: CASINT and CASRES, had been progressed
to Status 1 at the Brazil JRT Meeting in April 1996. Joint work might be
required in the future to enhance both messages.
- New items of work: The Legal Rapporteurs summed up the progress made in
new areas of work: electronic invoicing and self-billing; certification
authorities; and data protection.
- In the area of electronic invoicing and self-billing, the Legal
Rapporteurs stressed that investigation of the legal implications was
required. The Legal Rapporteurs pointed to the many differences which
existed between countries in particular in the area of self-billing and
mentioned that barriers linked to tax regulations could sometimes make the
use of self-billing procedures impossible.
- Close examination of the legal implications linked to the development
and use of certification authorities was also considered to be necessary.
The Legal Rapporteurs noted that UNCITRAL had carried out initial work and
was currently in the process of collecting more information on the subject.
The work of ICC in this area is also monitored by the Legal Rapporteurs Team.
- The Legal Rapporteurs also noted the necessity to address the issue of
data protection. It was reported that national legislation on data protection
existed in several countries including Taiwan, Japan and on the European
level through a EU Directive requiring implementation by 1998. It was felt
that these measures would affect countries without data protection laws since
the measures require adequate protection to be provided when transferring
data. As UN/EDIFACT messages generally carry identification data, the Legal
Rapporteurs suggested to investigate further this issue in order to provide
EDI users with general guidance.
- The Legal Rapporteurs also briefly mentioned the TEDIC Project (Trade
EDI Certification) which had been presented to the LRT at the Helsinki JRT
meeting as a follow-up to the request made by WP.4 at its previous meeting to
further examine this project. They noted the importance of the project which
should be included in the revised programme of work and stressed that several
issues, and especially security matters, remained to be addressed.
- Programme of Work: The Legal Rapporteurs explained that due to recent
developments, including new projects and initiatives as well the re-
engineering process, a new programme of work should be drawn up in the light
of the re-engineering process.