• English

UNECE discusses possibilities for expanding the use of UN/LOCODE

Used approximately 1.5 billion times per year in international trade transactions for goods, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations (UN/LOCODE) plays an essential role in international trade. UN/LOCODE is also used in international transactions for trade in services and at national level. UN/LOCODE is used to uniquely identify the location where a trade transaction takes place, such as a port, an airport, an inland clearance depot, an inland freight terminal and other transport-related locations. For example, goods can be shipped to CHGVA, which specifies Geneva in Switzerland.

While UN/LOCODE is sufficient for facilitating trade transactions involving specific locations, participants at the Second UN/LOCODE Conference held in Geneva on 28 April 2016 identified an increasing need to register and identify precisely defined “areas” in international trade. “Areas” may be, for example, metropolitan areas, fishery management zones, agriculture production zones or the areas around ports. At the Conference, participants discussed the need and importance of identifying these “areas” and their possible relationship to UN/LOCODE. Participants also discussed the possibility of extending UN/LOCODE to cover locations that are linked to activities other than international trade, such as maritime security and environmental protection activities.  

A UN/LOCODE Maintenance Group was launched in the afternoon of 28 April with a call for all interested stakeholders to participate in this work. If you are interested in the maintenance and further development of UN/LOCODE, please contact the secretariat (Ms. Yan Zhang at yan.zhang@unece.org) about joining the group.

With more than 100,000 entries and a community of users from 249 countries, dependent territories and special areas, UN/LOCODE is maintained by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and is published free of charge through UNECE. 

The UNECE secretariat develops and maintains UN/LOCODE as a service to governments in the framework of its trade facilitation efforts. Since its first release in 1981, the number of UN/LOCODE entries has increased significantly.

The use of UN/LOCODE is either recommended or required by several international organizations and agreements, such as the World Customs Organization in the WCO Data Model, the International Maritime Organization in its Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) and the European Maritime Safety Agency. 

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=42323#/