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UNECE supports alignment of Azerbaijan’s customs data resources with international standards

Interoperability of Single Window and other IT systems that simplify international trade procedures can only be achieved by using harmonized standards for data sharing.

Azerbaijan has already developed a quite advanced Single Window system, which is particularly important since the country does not belong to any trade bloc. However, in order to benefit from the time and cost saving benefits of such a system, Azerbaijan’s Singe Window requires alignment to international data exchange standards.

Responding to this need, UNECE and Azerbaijan have completed a project aligning Azerbaijani Customs data resources used in the country’s Single Window system to the standards of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), the European Union’s Customs Data Model and other international standards. This comes as the first practical outcome following a joint declaration on cooperation for the Sustainable Development Goals signed between UNECE and Azerbaijan in November 2018.

The project, supported by the UN Regional Programme on Technical Cooperation (RPTC), aimed at determining the benefits of applying the standards of the WCO, UN/CEFACT, and the EU data model in Azerbaijan. The consultations covered the main advantages of using a data model in implementing a Single Window for import, export and transit in Azerbaijan.

The project raised the capacity of Azerbaijani Customs for data harmonization aligned with international standards. Data in five documents was harmonized as part of a practical exercise: Certificate of Origin; Certificate of Compliance; Hygienic Certificate; Phytosanitary Certificate; and the Structure of the interdepartmental exchange between the Customs Committee and the Ministry of Revenues. This pilot exercise will be followed by other documets harmonized by Azerbaijani Customs. Ms. Sue Probert, Chair of UN/CEFACT, highly praized the capacity of Azerbaijani experts for such work.

This project supported Azerbaijan’s use of shared standards for trade information exchange in the broader European space, thus reinforcing trade connectivity and economic integration in the UNECE region, emphasized UNECE Regional Advisor on Economic Cooperation and Trade, Mr. Mario Apostolov. The project had a minimal carbon impact, as all consultations were carried out from a distance (Baku and various locations in Europe) and coordinated by UNECE.

UN/CEFACT experts familiarized stakeholders from Azerbaijan with the tools used to create a data set in the European Union and other countries, and these will be used in the national data model in Azerbaijan. This data set is presented in the form of reports reflecting the structure of the data, as well as their interconnection and compatibility.

Mr. Kazim Samadov from the Department of e-Customs Services of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan noted that these reports would simplify the process of development and implementation of electronic exchange systems between various government departments, and simplify the process of organizing the exchange of electronic documents between the State structures and business community in Azerbaijan.