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Joint UNRCs Approach to Trade Facilitation

The Joint Approach to Trade Facilitation (TF) of the UN Regional Commissions (UNRCs)

The Joint UNRC Approach to Trade Facilitation (TF) was agreed in Beirut in January 2010 by the Executive Secretaries of the five Regional Commissions and was subsequently endorsed by all five Regional Commissions.

The Approach was designed to enable the UNRCs to present a joint (global) view on key Trade Facilitation issues – particularly from the regional and interregional level, and especially in relation to capacity building needs and approaches. This is particularly important in the context of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Also it was considered that, as supply chains are becoming increasingly global, a joint approach to trade facilitation policy development and implementation would enhance the effectiveness of UNRC technical assistance and capacity building initiatives in own region. The representatives of all five RCs met in Geneva in December 2011 and confirmed the value of the initiative and their readiness of working together.

The Joint Capacity Building Package includes the following components (information and capacity building resources provided by respective Regional Commissions.

Trade facilitation and Border Facilitation

Trade Facilitation Committees/Groups

This page contains information materials devoted to coordination and consultations between governmental agencies and private sector and also between various governmental bodies on a national level on various issues relating to trade facilitation.



Business Process Analysis (BPA) and Data harmonization (DH)

This page describes processes to be followed to analyse business processes and movements of goods, relating documents and of information flows as a pre-requisite for simplifying procedures, documents and information requirements leading to data harmonization on a national and on trans-boundary levels.


  • UN/CEFACT recommendation to governments on data harmonization (recommendation No. 34  ENG   FRE   RUS)


Single Window (SW)

This page contains recommendations, guides, studies and examples of countries’s experiences on introducing and using mechanism of single window in international trade.




Global Supply Chains (UNDA 7th tranche)

Experience and Information Sharing Networks

Education on Standardization


Implementing Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade for Sustainable Growth, a sixth global review of aid for trade, side event organized by the United Nations Regional Commissions, Wednesday, 12 July 2017, 14:00 - 15:00, Room S2, WTO, Geneva, Switzerland.

The event illustrated the development impact of trade facilitation interventions by the UNRCs in areas such as streamlining border clearance procedures; creating synergies between trade facilitation and quality control; reducing transaction costs; implementing international standards for paperless trade and other innovative trade facilitation approaches.  For more information....

Second Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation

The second Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation will be carried out until the end of March 2017. It is jointly conducted by the United Nations Regional Commissions (UNRCs) - ECAECEECLACESCAP and ESCWA.

Building on the success of the first Global Survey of 2015, the second Global Survey aims to collect relevant data and information on trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation from their respective Member States. The results of this initiative are expected to provide useful information to support the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement as well as emerging global and regional initiatives on paperless trade and e-trade. It will put emphasis on measures of particular importance to SMEs and the agricultural sector.

The Survey will lead to the production of a Global Report and five Regional Reports, which aim at providing insightful information for policy makers to harness trade as a key means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Partnership was key to the success for the first Global Survey, and will be further strengthened for the second Global Survey. Interested UN Organizations, other relevant regional and subregional organizations, industry associations, academia, research institutes and other stakeholders, are very welcome to join the initiative.

In order to best complete the survey, we suggest you to take two steps:

  1. Download the survey in Word format to familiarize yourself with the questions in EnglishFrench or Russian

  2. Go to the online survey in EnglishFrench  or Russian

Contacts: Maria Ceccarelli and Maria-Teresa Pisani.

First Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation 2015

The United Nations Regional Comissions (UNRCs) including ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP and ESCWA, in collaboration with UNCTAD, OECD, ITC, OCO and SELA, have conducted a global survey to collect relevant data and information on trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation in their respective member states. Outcomes of the survey are expected to enable the countries to better understand and monitor progress in trade facilitation, support evidence-based policy-making, and highlight the needs for capacity building and technical assistance.

The global survey represents a key initiative  under the framework of the Joint UNRC Approach to Trade Facilitation, agreed upon in Beirut, January 2010 to enable the five UNRCs to present a joint global view on key trade facilitation issues. Survey questionnaire and process are available here while the survey results and data collected are available below.