The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) issued on 8 October 2010 the second in a suite of recommendations on creating a “Single Window” facility for international trade. Recommendation 35 deals with “Establishing a legal framework for the Single Window”. Developed through the UNECE’s United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), the Recommendation offers advice and guidance on the most common legal issues that arise in introducing a Single Window.
Recommendation 35 draws on the experience of various models for a Single Window, documented in the United Nations Single Window Repository (http://www.unece.org/cefact/single_window/welcome.htm), as well as on country experiences throughout the world. It sets out the main steps and issues for developing an adequate legal framework and provides guidance on legal issues and benchmarking, as well as guidelines for identifying possible gaps in national law that need to be bridged in order to create an effective legal environment for a Single Window. In two annexes, the Recommendation describes the most common legal issues that should be included in the analysis for developing a Single Window, namely:
To provide general legal guidance to countries and the private sector, the Recommendation also refers to the work of other international organizations in electronic commerce and trade law.
The texts of Recommendation 35 and the earlier Recommendation 33 are available at http://www.unece.org/cefact/recommendations/rec_index.htm in English, French and Russian.
For further information, please contact:
Chair, International Trade Procedures Working Group
William J. Luddy, Jr.
Secretary to UN/CEFACT
UNECE Trade Division
Note to editors
As defined by Recommendation 33 “Recommendation and Guidelines on establishing a Single Window”, a Single Window is “a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. If information is electronic, then individual data elements should only be submitted once.”
Recommendation 33, adopted in 2004, continues to help Governments and the business sector improve how they exchange information to meet necessary regulatory and administrative requirements. Recommendation 33 also gives practical advice for planning and implementing a Single Window facility and offers guidance on how to make its operation sustainable and on how to further develop a Single Window’s possibilities where this is desired. It also points to the existing international standards on introducing a Single Window and shows how Governments and trading communities can derive the greatest benefits.
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