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International Conference on Future Directions for Single Window

30 - 31 October 2017

Room XXIV, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

UNECE and UN/CEFACT began developing guidance material on the concept of Single Window about twenty years ago. In the early 2000’s, Recommendation 33 on Implementing a Single Window was developed and has been a reference on the definition and base principles ever since. Recommendation 34 on Data Simplification and Standardization and Recommendation 35 on the Legally Enabling Environment soon followed and have recently been completed with Recommendation 36 on Single Window Interoperability.

Single Window is today a major buzz work in cross-border trade and trade facilitation measures. It is cited as one of the obligations of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, raising awareness and encouraging countries to establish such solutions. Guidance material is being developed on every continent and by multiple agencies… And today more and more systems are naming themselves Single Windows even if they do not satisfy all aspects of the UNECE Recommendation 33 definition, bringing confusion to the trading community and encouraging UN/CEFACT to develop its Technical Note on Terminology linked to Single Window and Similar Platforms.

15-20 years on from the first guidance material on this subject, where are we now?


This Conference will aim to take stock of some variations of Single Window implementations and how they align to the UNECE Recommendation 33 definition. This will especially entail underlining that Single Window is a vehicle for trade facilitation measures and not simply a computer system.

It will aim to study the concrete next steps for Single Window evolution.

It will put forward the probable key deliverables to be implemented in the next five years.

It will set the path towards a Single Window Symposium

And of course, it will explain the link to the WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and all of the TFA measures that SW could help enable.

Target Audience

  • Government agencies involved in cross-border trade (particularly customs agencies)
  • Trade Facilitation bodies
  • Trading community


30 October 2017

10:00 - 10:30 Welcome Address 

  • Mrs. Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary
  • His Excellency Alvaro Cedeno, Ambassador of Costa Rica
  • Mrs. Maria Ceccarelli, UNECE Chief of Trade Facilitation Section 

10:30 - 12:30 – Keynote session

Placing Single Window in today’s perspective 


14:00 - 15:15 – Round Table 1

Variations of Single Window and Facilitating Trade


15:45 - 17:30 Round Table 2

Evolution and Key deliverables in the next five years

  • Moderator: Mr. Jan Hoffmann, UNCTAD, Chief of Trade Logistics Branch
  • Mr. Ingmar Väli, “Estonian e-Governance Best Practices and Cooperation with UN”
  • Mrs. Sue Probert, Vice Chair UN/CEFACT, “Semantic data and process driven data exchange”
  • Mr. David Roff, Warrant Group, “Data Pipeline”
  • Mr. Philippe Salles, Traxens, “Single Window and IoT – example of Smart Containers”
  • Mr. Ibrahima Diagne, Gainde 2000, “Blockchain and Single Window”

31 October 2017

09:30 - 10:30 Presentations
Current and recent work in UN/CEFACT on Single Window 


11:00 - 12:30 Brainstorming
Group discussion on key themes related to Single Window. This discussion will likely be the base for any revision of Recommendation 33. Session moderated by:  


14:00 - 16:30 – Next steps

Preparations for a revision of Recommendation 33? A follow-up conference or symposium?

  • Moderators:  Mr. Oleksandr Fedorov, Director General PPL 33-35



Download Recommendations of the 4th UNECE International Conference on Single Window





Recommendation N°. 33 - Single Window RecommendationEnglishFrenchRussian
Recommendation N°. 34 - Data Simplification and Standardization for International TradeEnglishFrenchRussian
Recommendation N°. 35 - Establishing a legal framework for international trade Single WindowEnglishFrenchRussian
Recommendation N°. 36 - Single Window InteroperabilityEnglishFrenchRussian


Mr. Lance Thompson
Chief, UN/CEFACT Support Unit 
Economic Cooperation and Trade Division
Contact e-mail: lance.thompson@unece.org

Mrs. Aruna Vivekanantham
Contact e-mail:  aruna.vivekanantham@unece.org

Ms. Amelia Delle Foglie
Contact e-mail: amelia.delle.fogelie@unece.org