• English

Media Clippings

Former Slovenian State Secretary Tadej Slapnik is the new director of Tolar HashNET
Original Language: Croatian

Tolar Hashnet has announced that Tadej Slapnik, former state secretary of the Republic of Slovenia , is the new director of Tolar HashNET Slovenia. As an ambitious domestic ICO appears, Tadej Slapnik has contributed to the development and smart regulation of blockchain technology in Slovenia, the European Union and globally.

Organizer of the first EU Blockchaing Meetup2017

His experience in the blockchain world is very rich, and these are just some of the projects he has worked on:

Initiator of the national forum: Republic of Slovenia in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Initiator and Chairman of Blockchain Slovenia Initiative

Initiator and organizer Blockchain Meetup Slovenia 2017

Organizer and Chairman of the First EU Blockchain Meeting in 2017

Europena Digital Day 2018, Panelist on blockchain panel

Chair of the European Blockchain Summit Summit in 2018

Panelist at UNECE Blockchain Conference in Geneva

Director of Europe Blockchain Hub

Thanks to his long and extensive experience in the field of blockchain and the development of government projects, Tadej Slapnik was an ideal choice for Tolar Hashne who wants to become the first choice for large companies and state governments around the world .

Recall that Tolar  has already  collected more than 20,000 Ethereums so far , which at a price of $ 290 for Tuesday's price tag , it means that it has earned more than $ 5.8 million from the investor. That was the  bottom limit you set in Tolar for your own ICO . If they did not collect that amount to investors, their clever contract would return all the funds.

They do not reveal how far they crossed that lower limit, and in Whitepaper they say that their goal is 45,000 Ethereums.

Angola: Entrepreneurs in training on trade facilitation
Original Language: Portuguese

Luanda - Thirty people are being trained on "Trade facilitation", within the framework of the Joint Program of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for Angola.

These adds to the 60 graduates in "Green Exports" and "Empretec" (a UN methodology that seeks to develop characteristics of entrepreneurial behavior and identifies new business opportunities).

The training, which runs from 28 to 31 August, promoted by the Ministry of Trade, in partnership with the EU and UNCTAD, called "Train for Trade II", a component of the Trade Support Project (ACOM). more than five million euros, financed by the European Union and implemented with technical assistance from UNCTAD.

The national coordinator of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for Train For Trade II, Adelino Muxito, explained that the project, launched in April this year, integrates seven components and is being developed in a phased manner.

The project, whose implementation is from four to five years, will form a thousand people in different domains.

At the opening ceremony, the Secretary of State for Economy of the Ministry of Economy and Planning, Sérgio Santos, said that the Angolan government aims to give a new impetus to the coordination of trade tasks as a way of developing the sector.

He emphasized that the Council of Ministers recently approved the regulation of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation with the purpose of giving a new impetus to the coordination of the tasks related to the implementation of the measures provided for in the trade facilitation agreement, demonstrating the commitment of the Angolan government .

This workshop aims to deepen knowledge on trade facilitation, including international standards, the legal framework of the main trade facilitation instruments, as well as their implications, on the global management of supply chains.

Throughout the workshop, the recommendations of the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Commerce (UN / CEFACT) and other UNECE tools, the Kyoto Convention Revised by the WCO and the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the Organization World Trade Organization, will be highlighted.

The event is part of the EU-UNCTAD Joint Program for Angola, called "Train for Trade II", a component of the Trade Support Project (ACOM), funded by the European Union and implemented with technical assistance from UNCTAD.

The target group for this training is mainly the members of the National Committee for Trade Facilitation (CNFC), a multi-sectoral team comprising the Ministries of Commerce, Economy and Planning, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Health, Agriculture, Interior, Transport as well as AGT, BNA, AIA and representatives of business and professional associations linked to international trade.

Malaysia’s Ministerial and C-Levels to Decide on Blockchain

“The UN/CEFACT white paper covers international trade facilitation end-to-end, from cradle to grave or from farm to fork. As it involves a number of parties through the whole process including at least 10 Ministries, a higher level authority, no less than the Prime Minister’s level must direct and steer the process for cross Ministerial and cross sectoral dialog, study, planning and cooperation. This will ensure that Malaysia’s interests are protected and that Malaysia is well positioned to provide a timely, well coordinated and competitive avenue for trade facilitation with Blockchain.” – Excerpt

Blockchain solution providers worldwide are doing an aggressive if not excellent job marketing their solutions. Corporations and government agencies have been approached and all kinds of assurances have been made. But can the solutions deliver to the expectations promised?

The World Economic Forum white paper titled “Blockchain Beyond the Hype, A Practical Framework for Business Leaders” attempts to provide guidance to senior decision-makers, essentially Ministerial and C-Levels, on whether to use Blockchain or not. The guidance is provided with the aid of a decision tree (discussed later) and this blog post hopes to provide some additional points to relate the guidance to the local (Malaysian) context in order to foster better understanding by the stakeholders.


The white paper mentions that:

“This tool is intended to enable rapid initial analysis of whether Blockchain is an appropriate solution for a defined problem. It is not intended to provide a final authoritative answer but to assist senior decision-makers in evaluating whether to deploy resources in exploring a Blockchain-based solution to a given problem space and, if so, at what scale. The hope is that shifting focus to the business problem, and away from a particular solution, will mitigate the effects of the hype surrounding this technology and encourage a practical approach while reducing the risk of ill-advised experimentation.”

A few important points mentioned in the above quote are expanded as follows:

  1. The decision tree is for the use of senior decision-makers. It is to be used by those in key decision making roles, whether in government or in non-government entities whose part responsibility is to maintain a helicopter view of its role in providing services to its stakeholders. The decision or recommendation should not be delegated to the ICT function of the organisation (as is quite often the case with ICT solutions and products).


Blockchain can be implemented in many sectors and communities at various levels and spread of coverage. However when it comes to governments and corporations, the decision to implement Blockchain must be with the careful consideration by the ‘senior decision-makers’. Within the context of the World Economic Forum agenda and profile of participants, the senior decision-makers here should be taken to mean C-level executives, Ministers and senior civil servants of governments. This is appropriately so since it is these C-level executives, Ministers and senior civil servants who should be continually on the lookout and open to means and ways to make the functions under their charge more efficient, cost effective, enhance service quality, eliminating redundancies and simplifying processes along the way. Blockchain does provide such opportunities in appropriate situations but the requisite prior assessments of the current processes must be done and tested against the decision tree and along the guidance from the discussions earlier.

The need for such C-level executives, Ministers and senior civil servants to get into the decision making process is more apparent and mandatory when it comes to cross functional and/or cross Ministry and/or cross departments and/or cross sector and/or cross jurisdictional issues.

Such will be the need when addressing the changes required in international trade facilitation with Blockchain that has recently been initiated by UN/CEFACT via their white paper titled, “White Paper on technical application of Blockchain to United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) deliverables”.

Malaysia has gone through the public review process on 10 July 2018 and have provided the feedback to UN/CEFACT. Other countries would also have provided feedback. While waiting for the updated document incorporating feedback from countries, there are ample pointers and discussion areas in the current draft of the UN/CEFACT paper for the various stakeholders in trade facilitation in Malaysia to start to follow through and plan their actions to capitalise on the direction. They should initiate discussions within their own sectors or service areas and also between agencies, departments and organisations where applicable. (…)


Italy: Blockchain and digital transformation focus on standards and governance
Original language: Italian

Opinion by: Pietro Marchionni. Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies - Commettee Member. CEN / CENELEC Whitepaper Coordinator on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies

In recent months there has been much talk of blockchain technology as an innovative tool for the implementation of advanced technological solutions that no longer have a ' centralized ' or ' decentralized ' approach (see the classic client-server and cloud models ) but which allow a distributed and shared management of digital services.

In the path of digital transformation of the PA, we have also included blockchain in the field of technologies of interest and therefore we are studying and working on this technology for a long time, verifying both its applicability and the potential advantages in its application to the transformation of the Public Administration.

This work is carried out in continuous collaboration with other central and local authorities in order to take advantage of the various experiences and potential specific requirements.

ISO, ITU and UNECE work tables

In a broader international context, Italy participates in working groups such as the international standardization group on the blockchain ISO (ISO / TC 307 Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies ), the ITU group ( ITU Focus Group on Application of Distributed Ledger Technology ) and the UN Group UNECE ( United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business )

At the same time, Italy is proposing experimental projects with other European countries within the Horizon 2020 program .

The presence of Italy is also important at the level of leadership, together with UNI ( Italian standardization body ) we lead a large group of European nations and companies in the drafting of the CEN / CENELEC European white paper on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Also in consideration of these important activities, even though Italy is not yet part of the European Blockchain Partnership EBP  ( read in this regard the service What is the European Blockchain Partnership ), which collects almost all the states of the European Union, the European Commission recently invited AgID to its meetings as an observer . One of the main objectives of the Partnership is the creation of a European blockchain infrastructure that facilitates the experimentation and implementation of cross-border services based on these technologies. (…) 

Call for tanners to participate in UN survey

Led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the ‘Traceability for Sustainable Value Chains - Textile and Leather Sector’ survey targets all enterprises and experts engaging in the various stages of the value chain, and/or working on sustainability performance in the textile and leather sector.

The UNECE, together with experts from governments, private sector, academia, international governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including the International Trade Centre (ITC), has looked into the risks and impacts of the leather and textile production and has launched a project for an international framework initiative on transparency and traceability for sustainability patterns in the sector.

All tanneries are invited to participate in the survey, described by Cotance (Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community) as an important exercise “for evidencing at international level the position of the leather industry with regard to this important issue”. The project aims at developing principles and policy recommendations, standards and implementation guidelines for traceability of sustainable value chains in the textile and leather industries.

The questionnaire should take about 20 minutes to complete and is available by clicking here. Deadline for submission is September 10, 2018. (…)

Blockchain Threatens to Eradicate Trade Intermediaries

Blockchain technology is expected to have a profound impact on trade and transport, according to UNCTAD and the UNECE’s United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT).

The technology aims to simplify and streamline trade processes through digitization offering greater transparency, cutting time and costs.

In its current form, trade processes require the use of many “intermediaries” that physically handle, process and transport goods. Others, such as banks, inspection companies, and many government agencies often act as guarantors of: the authenticity of documents or information; the truthfulness of information; and/or the trustworthy behaviour of parties.

However, these are likely to disappear due to blockchain, with the roles of a great number of these intermediaries becoming superfluous as trade becomes an ever more automatized process.

Namely, the technology allows for the introduction of electronically “notarized” original electronic documents or agreements such as contracts, certificates and licenses with a time stamp and a “guarantee” that no changes have been made since the time of issuance.

“In addition, unalterable programs (called smart contracts) can be recorded on blockchains. These would allow, for example, a bank to sign an agreement with an exporter which says, when a sales contract is recorded on the blockchain with the purchaser’s electronic signature, the bank will provide 50% trade financing for the contracted sum. The work of the bank’s staff will then be finished because the blockchain “smart contract” will make the payment when the sales contract is recorded on the blockchain – without them having to verify anything because this is done by the blockchain. In addition, the exporter will receive their financing within minutes, or hours, of the sales contract being recorded,” UNCTAD explains.

“Combined with other technologies such as Radio Frequency ID tags and sensors connected to the Internet, blockchain technology will create opportunities for unprecedented transparency in international supply chains.”

With all that being said, for trade intermediaries now it is the time to identify the opportunities and the challenges that these changes will bring. Otherwise, companies and entire industries risk disappearing if they fail to act to re-invent themselves.

On the other hand, those who implement first (or best) may gain important competitive advantages.

One of the early-adopters of the technology is the industry major Maersk which has teamed up with IBM to establish a joint venture aimed at offering a global trade digitization platform by using blockchain technology.

UN/CEFACT whitepaper on Sustainable Procurement open for comments until 20 September
How can companies demonstrate compliance with sustainability criteria? How can small and medium enterprise suppliers avoid administrative burdens when doing so for cross-border trade? What policies, standards and good practices for sustainable procurement, and their impact on trade facilitation, do government decision-makers need to be aware of? And how could UNECE contribute to the development of best practices as trade facilitation tools that provide guidance and support for financially sound, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible procurement in business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-business (B2B) transactioons...  Read more

Economists call for enhanced utilization of fisheries within sustainable development programs



Original Language: Arabic

Economists and analysts urged Monday that the gaps that affect the development of the economic benefits of the world's fisheries and enhance the role of this economic field in achieving the goals of sustainable development should be closed.

This came at the second session of the Oceans Forum organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) over the course of today and tomorrow in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Commonwealth Group, The Pacific.

The forum points to the importance of the fish and seafood industry as one of the most widely traded food commodities in the world. Fish and other marine organisms account for 38 percent of world food production in international trade, more than half of them in developing countries.

The forum also noted that the value of global exports of fishery products amounted to 153 billion dollars in 2017 and the net income of developing countries of which 36 billion US dollars.

Some 58 million people are directly involved in fisheries and aquaculture, along with nearly 200 million direct and indirect employment opportunities along the chain of fish and marine production from fishing to distribution through different stages of production.

The experts point out that all these data should be a sufficient incentive for international cooperation in dealing with the pressures faced by developing countries and address the problems of overfishing to maintain a wealth of fish that keep pace with consumption rates and ensure environmental balance at the same time.

Experts also believe that the various functions provided by the economy of fish and other marine organisms are complex and include port management, refrigeration facilities, processing and related marine services such as repair and maintenance of fishing vessels as well as financial services such as fishing vessels, fishers and production but not exploited in sustainable economic growth, .

On the second day of the forum, the forum is expected to discuss a number of developing countries' experiences in improving the use of their fish wealth to open jobs and to monitor the challenges and opportunities that sustainability and additional integration of the fisheries management and related services may pose in the so-called blue economy.

The Oceans Forum is a global platform for collecting information and exchanging experiences to implement trade-related goals in sustainable development goals by involving leading United Nations agencies, regional bodies, government institutions and civil society organizations.

The Forum provides the latest analysis and experiences of participating countries in the search for best public and private practices for the formulation of policy recommendations for achieving trade-related sustainable development goals.

HLPF Side Event Explores the Role of Blockchain Technology in Advancing SDGs



On Wednesday, 11 July 2018, on the sidelines of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Government of Slovenia, and the Dutch Blockchain Coalition organized a roundtable to explore the role of blockchain technology in advancing achievement of the SDGs.

During the event titled, ‘Blockchain for Transformation: Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies,’ Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary, said blockchain technology, which is known for storing and tracking cryptocurrency transactions such as Bitcoin, can also help advance SDG implementation and monitoring. She highlighted blockchain technology applications related to reducing food waste in the supply chain (SDG target 12.3), ensuring consumers have relevant information for sustainable lifestyles (SDG targets 12.6 and 12.7), and providing legal identities and financial services to refugees and the very poor (SDG targets 2.3 and 16.9).

Blockchain technology in trade processes can lead to increased financial inclusion for those who are currently unable to participate in the market.

Tadej Slapnik, Office of the Prime Minister, Slovenia, highlighted that European companies are exchanging experiences using blockchain technologies through public-private platforms, including the European Blockchain Hub, which promotes “smart regulation.”

Participants also discussed:

the importance of personal identification and financial data for more resilient and sustainable data management;

positive social impacts of blockchain technology, including alternate sources of funding for peer-to-peer marketplaces and decentralized governance;

the impact of General Data Protection Regulation, an EU-wide legal framework for personal data privacy;

benefits of using blockchain technologies to streamline data management and communications tools within the UN; and

a project in Slovenia that connects energy producers and consumers using blockchain technology, and removes intermediaries from the transaction so participants can set their own prices.

Speakers also highlighted that blockchain technology in trade processes can help reduce transaction costs and lead to increased financial inclusion for those who are currently unable to participate in the market. [More Information about the Side Event] [IISD RS Coverage of the Side Event on Blockchain Technology]

Thailand: How to change the business of Small and medium-sized enterprises in the digital age
CIO World & Business


Original language: Thai

"Learning to Understand the Business Transformation Framework is one way to help guide business change in the context of each organization. And it is a way to move forward into business transformation. "

In the past article on how to transform small business into a digital era. Discuss the fundamentals of business transformation. It consists of three modifications, namely, Business Processes, Product Modifications. In addition to the value proposition that is related to customer experience.

In the past, we have described the use of the Transformation Framework for SME business transformation. Businesses, large or small, are aiming to change or reform the business. To keep up with the Needs of consumers and their latent needs, if they are sufficiently motivated. The core business philosophy is to focus on products with Extrinsic Value rather than just Intrinsic Value.

This is a continuation to describe. Use digital integrated vertical value chain system.

The use of digital integrated value chain systems in the horizontal.


1) Computerize external processes (Cube A)

At this stage, the business pays attention to the process of the demand chain (Demand chain) as mentioned above. Create a workflow that connects customers with Information Systems for Order Fulfillment services. The most convenient and fastest delivery. In the supply chain, the online business is linked to the material supplier's workflow to streamline the flow of material to the production line and reduce losses.

At this stage, the business defines additional Core Business Capabilities, such as Customer's Journey, customer contact points for special needs. Doing business with electronic commerce.


Business Capabilities at this level create organizational competencies to work in a Decentralization To facilitate the rapid customer service. Digital Capability to support online collaboration requires information systems that work with standardized and internationally standardized business information, such as: GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN 13 digits) and UN Development Program (UNDP) codes.

Standard Messages require at least standard electronic transactions, such as electronic invoices. Based on standard. UN / CEFACT This electronic invoice standard covers other electronic trading documents such as e-tax invoices, receipts (e-Receipts), and so on. End-to-end Thai online.

In addition, standardized payment information such as ISO 20022 is an important standard to support the integrated value chain in the horizontal and ready to provide Thai SMEs as part of the Global Value Chain.

China: International standardization conference in Hangzhou
Original language: Chinese

Yesterday afternoon, the staff of the Hangzhou Standardization International Exchange Center made the last circle on the invitation list. This means that the work of the invited guests of the China-US Standards Cooperation Work Conference and the Corporate Standards Round Table to be held next week has come to an end. Such a fragment is a microcosm of the daily work of the central staff.

At this time last year, the Global Sustainable Development Standardization City Alliance Inaugural Meeting and International Standardization Conference Base was settled in Hangzhou. The world's first standardization professional conference base was officially opened in Hangzhou.

Since the establishment of the base, the number of national standardization conferences held in Hangzhou has reached 15, and more than 160 international and regional, more than 800 foreign guests came to Hangzhou to participate. At this point, the Hangzhou standard is in line with the international "universal language."

“Standards have become the universal language of the world” International Conference on Standardization brings the world’s attention to Hangzhou

"Standards have become the world's 'universal language', the world needs standards to develop synergistically, and standards promote world connectivity." General Secretary Xi pointed out in a congratulatory letter from the 39th International Organization for Standardization.

The Hangzhou Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government have always attached great importance to the standardization work and made continuous explorations in promoting the standardization of various fields of economic and social development. On June 30 last year, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the National Standards Committee jointly initiated the establishment of the world's first “in Hangzhou”. International Standard Conference Base."

According to Xu Xiaojie, deputy director of Hangzhou Standardization International Exchange Center, since the establishment of the base, it has successively hosted a series of countries such as Sino-German Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 Development and Standardization Summit Forum, China-US Group Standards Cooperation and Development Conference, and China-UK Standardization Cooperation Committee Meeting. Bilateral meetings and multilateral meetings. "This also means that Hangzhou has become one of the first choices for national-level standardization multilateral and bilateral meetings after Beijing." He said that Hangzhou has once again stood in the spotlight of the international stage and discussed cooperation and sharing results with the guests from all over the world. The world's "universal language" speaks from Hangzhou.


In addition to the "city of the Internet" and "the capital of e-commerce", Hangzhou also has a gold business card for cross-border e-commerce. As the country's first cross-border e-commerce comprehensive test area, the cross-border e-commerce transaction volume of the Hangzhou comprehensive test area increased from 3.464 billion US dollars in 2015 to 9.936 billion US dollars in 2017, and the cross-border e-commerce enterprises increased from 3,500 to 8,000 now. A lot. In Xu Xiaojie's view, while the e-commerce industry is booming, standards will promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. “Just take the UN/CEFACT UN Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business Center Autumn Forum in Hangzhou in October, the main responsibility of the agency is to simplify and coordinate the procedures and management of the world in administrative, commercial and transportation industries. Promote the development of international merchandise trade and service trade through standardization to eliminate trade barriers and simplify trade procedures." He said that the forum was held in Hangzhou to let Hangzhou enterprises know more about international trade. (…)

Italy: Traceability and sustainability in textiles: UN officials visiting Prato
Original language: Italian

They visited some companies in the district of Prato, seen with their eyes how the supply chain works and noted the complexity of a highly articulated system for production types and organizational methods: this was done by the delegation of UNECE, the Economic Commission for Europe of United Nations, accompanied by the deputy director of SMI-Sistema Moda Italia Mauro Chezzi and hosted in Prato by Confindustria Toscana Nord.

The main function of UNECE is the evaluation of economic, technical and environmental problems (both within the member countries and in the relations between them) and the development of possible solutions. One of the most important areas of activity of the Commission, with its Center for Facilitation of Trade and E-Business (UN / CEFACT), applied so far above all to agriculture and fisheries, is the identification of standards that facilitate the relationships within the production chains and allow transparency and traceability, also towards final consumers. A goal, this, which also fits with sustainability and could have interesting effects given the need for companies to see their commitment recognized in this area.

"It was an opportunity for in-depth analysis to understand the complexity and challenges of sustainability and transparency in the textile supply chain. An opportunity for profitable comparison with those who do business in this sector on the importance of enhancing sustainability along the entire supply chain, as a stimulus for innovation and renewal of competitiveness ", said Maria Teresa Pisani, head of the program for sustainable trade.

"We welcomed the UNECE delegation - explains the director of Confindustria Toscana Nord Marcello Gozzi -. The Prato district has significant peculiarities, also in comparison with other Italian textile areas, and its relative weight in Europe is very relevant; hence the need for a precise knowledge of the functioning of our production system, so that the proposals that UNECE will present to the European Union take into account the reality of Prato. Work that is in progress could be an opportunity, if properly set and calibrated, but will require great care to ensure its adequacy and effectiveness. We will continue to follow the project, now that this visit has opened a channel of communication with those who are making it. "

Korea: AmorePacific already has a touch screen vending machine for 6 shops
Original language: Korean

Introduction of digital vending machine for the first time in the industry, '24 hour unattended operation'

AmorePacific has developed a self-developed digital vending machine ' mini shop ' quietly expanded. It is not easy to expand stores by 'minimum wage increase' and 'shortened working hours', so it is noteworthy whether vending machines can be a new alternative.


AmorePacific has attracted the attention of customers by installing digital video equipment on the exterior of its major stores such as Innisfree, The Face Shop, Etude, and Aritaum, which are located in Myeongdong and Gangnam.


In addition, Aritaum, Etude, and Espea introduced its own mobile POS system. It is a new concept sales system to realize the digitization of offline store. It is executed non-stop from customer inquiry to issuance of receipt by combining barcode, reading sensor card, settlement slot and camera.

This mobile POS system was introduced by AmorePacific in Taiwan in September last year and won an excellence prize award in the field of comprehensive digital opportunity creation at the 2017 e-Asia Awards hosted by the UN/CEFACT and AFACT. The eASIA Awards is an e-business award program conducted by the UN under the UN/CEFACT for the elimination of information technology gaps and for the promotion of trade in the Asia-Pacific region. (…)

UN Trade Body Examines Blockchain's Potential in Supply Chains
https://www.coindesk.com/un-trade-body-examines-blockchain-potential-in-supply-chains/ Approx. 7

A United Nations body that facilitates global trade is examining blockchain and smart contracts to see if they could play a role in its mission.

To that end, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has just published a white paper – now available for public review – that studies the nascent technology to see if it offers benefits that could impact its work or that of businesses and organizations.

With developing standards for trade facilitation and supply chain automation already a core part of its remit, UN/CEFACT focuses on the "smart contract, electronic notary and decentralised process coordination" features of blockchain, rather than its role in powering cryptocurrencies. It further eyes the tech as a possible means to further move away from traditional paper-based processes and also to remove the need for trust in systems such as those used to manage supply chains.

Within the supply chain industry, a number of types of data can be effectively transmitted over blockchains, according to the paper, including insurance, invoicing, consignment and shipping, and bills of lading. It adds that distributed ledgers run by regulators could also store permits and declarations.

While the organization can see "clear value and use cases" for blockchain technology, it sees issues too.

The paper reads:

"Blockchain technology does not solve the interoperability problem that UN/CEFACT standards have always supported. Also, different blockchains are far from equal in terms of the level of trust that participants should place in them."

However, the paper's authors also see a potential for the organization to help clarify this potential deluge of data, saying that there is "an opportunity for UN/CEFACT to leverage its existing semantic standards." While blockchain, as well as other technologies like IoT, can contribute to increased supply chain efficiency, the paper suggests that more work is needed to fully ascertain their potential in facilitating trade mechanisms.

"It could be very useful to develop a conceptual model of the international supply chain that shows the role of each technology within the broader map of stakeholders, services, and standards," according to the authors.

Furthermore, the paper identifies gaps that the agency is "uniquely positioned to fill."

The authors go on to suggest that UN/CEFACT work with national delegations and experts and form working groups to develop new technical specifications around the technology.

Facilitation Committee (FAL) standardises data for effective electronic business

The 42nd session of IMO’s Facilitation (FAL) Committee, on 5-8 June, approved a completely revised and updated structure for its Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including a new standard IMO reference data set, which will be used as basis for automated and digital systems for exchange of information when ships arrive at and depart from ports.

The information data set supports mandatory reporting formalities for ships, cargo and persons onboard and can also be extended to support commercial businesses in international shipping.

The Compendium is being completely updated in order to enable the implementation of the revised Annex to the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which entered into force this year and requires electronic data exchange to be implemented by all FAL Convention Parties, by April 2019.

Work on the revised Compendium has been led by the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the collaboration of IMO, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/CEFACT)) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO).

The working group also includes members from India, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, United States, New Zealand, the IMO Secretariat, EMSA, BIMCO and the International Port Community System Association (IPCSA).

The revised and updated Compendium is expected to be completed over the next six months so that it can be approved by the next Facilitation Committee session, FAL 43, in April 2019.

IMO focusing on better facilitating electronic business, single window system in maritime transport & improved port efficiency



Standardisation and harmonisation are essential in order to achieve efficient shipping and seamless transport, particularly when it comes to electronic data exchange. IMO’s Facilitation Committee, which is currently meeting at the IMO headquarters here, is set to approve a revised format of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including a completely revised and updated standard IMO data model set. Data models define and format information which might be transferred between automated systems, such as for export, import and transit.

The revised Compendium will include a completely revised data structure, including digitalisation-friendly definitions of all the information elements that a ship is required to report. This will make digitalisation and automation of administrative processes in international shipping much easier, paving the way for full implementation of electronic data exchange, as required by the revised Facilitation Convention annex, which entered into force this year.

Work on the revised Compendium has been led by the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the collaboration of IMO, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/EDIFACT) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO).

On other matters, the Facilitation Committee will continue its review of the Explanatory Manual to the Annex to the FAL Convention and its review of guidelines for setting up a single window system in maritime transport. The Committee will also be updated on the IMO Maritime Single Window project.

In order to strengthen the links between ships and ports, IMO is hosting a Special Event on Ports, on June 11, 2018, which will also be live-streamed globally. Some 20 panelists will share their views on port-related issues such as the maritime single window, the port community system, ways to improve facilitation, best practices to improve coordination at ports, improvement in efficiency of ports and implementation of measures to reduce emissions in ports, including onshore power supply. The importance of port security will also be covered. This event will be followed, on June 12 and 13, by a port security-focused event organised in cooperation with the International Association of Airport and Sea Port Police, said a release

Opinion: Blockchain ‘ignorance’ endangers Malaysia



Opinion by: Fattah Yatim is chairperson of Malaysia’s National Standards Technical Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.

I spoke too late but it is not too late to catch up unless we continue dragging our feet. I have mentioned in my first article that leaders Aspiring to lead Malaysia for the next five years and beyond must state their position and plans about blockchain.

I wrote earlier: “Whole economic blocks like the G20 and the EU, as well as many nations with foresight, have already made their moves to shape the future of society and economy with blockchain.

“Countries that have not moved or have ad hoc planning will be forced to adopt or follow established processes based on blockchain that are established by the countries who are ahead, or risk being left out in global trade competitiveness. Do we wish to allow this to happen?”

When I wrote that first article on April 9 last year, the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CeFact) was already working on a paper titled, ‘White Paper on the technical applications of blockchain to UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CeFact) deliverables’.

The first version of the paper was released on April 30 last year. It can be downloaded here and is now available for public comment till July 21, 2018.

So in a nutshell, it is not merely countries that are moving on blockchain. Because of its importance and significant impact, the UN/CeFact is addressing the use of blockchain in trade facilitation worldwide. Malaysia will ultimately be affected whether we are ready or not.

According to Wikipedia:

“UN/CeFact is the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. It was established as an intergovernmental body of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in 1996 and evolved from UNECE’s long tradition of work in trade facilitation which began in 1957

“UN/CeFact’s goal is, 'Simple, Transparent and Effective Processes for Global Commerce'. It aims to help business, trade and administrative organisations from developed, developing and transition economies to exchange products and services effectively.

“To this end, it focuses on simplifying national and international transactions by harmonising processes, procedures and information flows related to these transactions, rendering these more efficient and streamlined, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the growth of global commerce.”

There are several blockchain projects and solutions locally but at the Malaysian government level, there is no visible or tangible policy or plans to position Malaysia to be a significant part of blockchain developments and integration, especially in government services and international trade.

For all intents and purposes, based on this scenario, I say that Malaysia is ignorant about blockchain as mentioned in the title of this article.

As harsh as the term “ignorant” appears, the public should be aware of the hard reality that Malaysia as a country is “ignorant” about blockchain from the government standpoint.

And we are moving into a danger zone for as long as we drag our feet on this while other countries are moving fast in this space. Correct me if I am misinformed.

The only committee currently (related to blockchain issues) with the proper source of authority (‘punca kuasa’) is the Malaysian National Standards Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (codenamed TC/G/15) that I am chairing.

This committee which currently comprises almost 30 member organisations is formed under the authority of the Department of Standards Malaysia and its scope is limited to the development of standards and guidelines on Blockchain/DLT, working at the international level with the ISO Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (codenamed ISO/TC 307). (…)

China`s inspection group visits Geneva, Switzerland to participate in the roundtable on "Facilitating E-Commerce Trade Facilitation"
Original language: Chinese

From April 23 to April 27, 2018, the UN organization organized a round table on "facilitating e-commerce trade facilitation" in Geneva, Switzerland. Cui Lei, Vice President of China Test Group Test Company, and person in charge of the Cross-border E-Commerce Department attended the meeting and submitted the proposal.

At the meeting, representatives from all over the world conducted extensive discussions on four topics, including: single window construction, Internet of Things technology, traceability technology, and blockchain technology. The application of these new technologies is driving the co-governance and innovation of cross-border e-commerce quality.

Since CCIC Test Company has undertaken the cross-border e-commerce standardization work in 2016, it has actively participated in the international proposal work of the National Standardization Management Committee. At the same time, it has established a cross-border e-commerce standardization work system and established a cross-border e-commerce standardization work team. He undertook the research on quality basic issues related to cross-border e-commerce related countries and launched a series of drafting of national standards for cross-border e-commerce. In the future, we will continue to promote the standardization work in line with the concept of “Quality Co-governance and Standards First”.

At the UN Conference on Trade Facilitation and Electronic Operations (UN/CEFACT), CCIC specifically put forward specific proposals for the standardization of cross-border e-commerce quality assurance. UN/CEFACT Vice Chairmen and major national participants agreed with the proposal. And adopted pre-proposals.

During the meeting, the delegation briefed Ms. Ivonne Higuero, Director of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, on the situation in which CCIC is preparing for a special forum on cross-border E-commerce, and expressed that within the framework of the standardization system, Strengthen mutual visits and exchanges.

Un nouveau standard e-CMR pour permettre l’interopérabilité


La FNTR associée à l'IRU, travaillait depuis plus d'un an avec l'UN/CEFACT (Facilitation des Procédures Commerciales et le Commerce Électronique des Nations Unies) pour développer un standard technologique pour la création de lettres de voiture électronique permettant un partage homogène des données.

Officiellement lancé le 2 mars à l'occasion d'une session spéciale du groupe transport de l'UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) ce nouveau standard a été lancé par les Nations Unies dans l'objectif de simplifier le transport international.

En effet, actuellement, un opérateur de transport peut être amené à utiliser différents services pour créer et gérer une lettre de voiture international CMR. Or, la trop grande hétérogénéité de ces services utilisés par les différents acteurs du transport international coopérant entre eux limite la capacité du secteur à profiter des nouvelles technologies.

Cette Interopérabilité entre les différentes solutions de lettre de voiture électronique permise par ce nouveau standard e-CRM va simplifier les services pour les opérateurs de transport, chargeurs et les autorités concernées ainsi que pour tout secteur impliqué dans une opération de transport de marchandises par la route.

Les règles pour le transport international de marchandises par route sont couvertes par la convention CMR des Nations Unies, ratifiée par 55 pays en Europe, au Moyen Orient et en Afrique du Nord ainsi qu'en Asie Centrale.

The 2018 China-Britain Standardization Cooperation Committee Meeting will be held on April 10 in Hangzhou

Original language: Chinese

From April 10 to April 11, the 2018 China-Britain Standardization Cooperation Committee meeting will be held in Hangzhou.

The conference was hosted by the China National Standardization Management Committee and the British National Standardization Agency, and organized by Hangzhou Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau.

At the appointed time, Mr. Scott Steadman, Vice Chairman of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and President of the British National Standardization Institute (BSI), 12 British experts and senior executives, the main leaders of the National Standardization Administration of China and heads of various departments , experts in various fields, etc. A total of more than 70 people will attend this meeting.

One Belt One Road, Artificial Intelligence Standardization, Made in Zhejiang

All are key topics for this conference

To establish a standardization and cooperation platform for the Chinese and British governments, industries and enterprises to promote the rapid development of Sino-British economic and trade relations, in February 2016, at the 12th meeting of the Sino-British Joint Economic and Trade Committee, the China-Britain Standardization Cooperation Committee was established. It is the China National Standardization Management Committee and the British National Standardization Agency.

In accordance with the principle of rotation, the China-UK Standardization Cooperation Committee meeting has been held in Chengdu and London since 2016. This year, the meeting of the China-UK Standardization Cooperation Committee came to Hangzhou in 2018.

The meeting lasted for two days. It was a mechanism meeting on the morning of the 10th and a bilateral meeting in the afternoon. On the 11th, it was an on-site work communication activity. All guests and experts will visit Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce platform, and conduct technical exchanges at the nation’s first e-commerce product quality monitoring and disposal center.

The conference will focus on the Sino-British cooperation in the areas of graphene, smart cities and civil nuclear energy, and will discuss in depth the cooperation issues of the “Belt and Road”, financial services, artificial intelligence standardization, and “Made in Zhejiang”.

Hangzhou will also take this meeting as an opportunity to lead the internationalization of Hangzhou cities through standardization, and increase the support for the exchange and cooperation between China and the United Kingdom through the display of Alibaba’s leading e-commerce platforms in the global field. Work with all parties to promote cooperation in key areas.


Since the “International Standardization Conference Base” was established in Hangzhou on June 30 last year, Hangzhou has successfully held 10 international standardization conferences such as Sino-German Intelligent Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 and China-US Group Standards. In 2018, the International Association for Article Numbering (GS1), the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronics (UN/CEFACT) and the 16 international standardization conferences between China and the United Kingdom, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, China and Canada, and China and the United States will also be held in Hangzhou.

China: Participation in "single window" shows remarkable results


China Sankei Information Database

Original language: Chinese

Under the guidance of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and under the leadership of the Shanghai Municipal Government, the Shanghai Inspection and Inspection Bureau has been deeply involved in the construction of a “single window” in Shanghai, promoted trade facilitation measures for customs clearance, and actively created a first-class business environment for Shanghai ports. At present, more than 95% of goods and 100% of ships at Shanghai port are reported through a “single window”, and the inspection time is reduced from the original one day to half an hour. "Single window" all kinds of declarations are free to enterprises, according to the statistics of the Shanghai Port Office, annual direct savings of enterprise information service costs 280 million yuan.

Now enterprises can use smart customs clearance to conduct inspections 24 hours a day. The inspection and quarantine system can implement intelligent operations such as automatic review, automatic sorting, and automatic delivery of customs clearance orders. In a few tens of seconds, companies can receive inspection and quarantine agency report information through the platform. All processing and feedback, also for the second-level archives for inspection batches that do not require inspection. Such smart customs clearance allows data to replace manual running errands, saving time and effort, greatly reducing the burden on businesses, and effectively improving the level of foreign trade services.


The Shanghai Bureau also established a system-wide data collection inspection and quarantine standard data set in accordance with the United Nations UN/CEFACT standards, and successfully applied for a "single window" inspection and quarantine standard for goods declaration. It has been provided as a "single window" cargo declaration specification by the AQSIQ. The State Port Office is used for the construction of a "single window" standard edition in China. In addition, Shanghai Bureau established a "single window" intelligent entry research working group to study "single window" intelligent entry and improve the efficiency of "single window" inspection and quarantine.

The Shanghai Bureau is oriented towards service enterprises, and aims to facilitate customs clearance and efficient supervision. It has participated in the construction of "single window" in Shanghai's international trade and achieved remarkable results. It has played a good exemplary role. “The Xiongguan Road is really like iron, but now it is moving from scratch.” The Shanghai Bureau will continue to promote the construction of a “single window” and make efforts to achieve greater economic and social benefits.

Germany: Laggard - The electronic bill soon obligatory



Original language: German

In essence, the Danish economy saves EUR 100 million a year through the electronic bill introduced to public authorities in 2005. That was a strong argument in the fight for a European directive. In 2008 Sweden followed, in 2010 Finland and in 2014 Italy and Austria passed their own laws on electronic invoices.

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU have decided in 2014, on a proposal from the European Commission, to introduce electronic invoicing throughout Europe (ix.de/ix1804100). Soon, German companies will have to deal with it. In this country, one promises savings of 6.5 billion euros. This includes half a billion euros in the authorities environment.

Standards for electronic invoices have existed in Germany since 1977. The established Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is based on contracts between suppliers and invoice recipients and, due to the large voting effort, is only interesting with large numbers of invoices.

If a supplier only occasionally sends invoices to a recipient, he may do so without a digital signature since the Tax Simplification Act 2011 - special contracts are not necessary. Often, these invoices consist of simple PDFs that are sent by email or made available for download. Although you can print them, an online banking program would have to guess what the final amount to pay, what due date or what the recipient IBAN is.

Mandatory core with exceptions

Since 2014, the ZUGFeRD format, which embeds an XML file into a PDF document, exists for machine-reading the item details and tax amounts. The XML file contains the exact contents of the invoice, but also describes what meaning a value has. In this combination one speaks of hybrid calculations: The human can read the PDF, a program the XML part. Multiple XML format families can render invoice content machine-readable. ZUGFeRD uses UN / CEFACT Cross Industry Invoice (CII), Denmark uses a format called Universal Business Language (UBL).

As part of Europe-wide introduction, the EU has adopted Directive 2014/55 / EU (ix.de/ix1804100) which states:

-  The European Committee for Standardization, the CEN (Comité Européen de Normalization), is to compile a list of permitted format families (so-called syntaxes).

-  The attributes of an invoice are differentiated into those that apply in all member states and those that only apply in some or one of the participating countries.

-  Properties that are mandatory for all, such as the recipient company, come in a so-called European nuclear bill.

-  Attributes that only some states need - in a German invoice such as the recipient's mailing address or discount agreements - are available in national extensions.

-  The formats provide an assignment, a so-called mapping, which fields implement the individual attributes for them.

CEN has also published its standard EN 16931. As expected, this includes both UBL and UN / CEFACT CII. Unstructured formats such as PDF without embedded XML are not allowed afterwards; a mapping would not be possible here.


A lot of work for the federal states

The federal states must pass 16 corresponding laws for their 294 counties, more than 11,100 towns and municipalities and more than 1,400 municipal companies in order to be able to accept electronic invoices from 18.04.2020. In everyday life, for example, this means that the janitor of a federal agency from the hardware store needs an electronic invoice in the future if he buys a drill there for more than 1000 euros. Depending on country legislation, this could also apply to purchases from countries, municipalities and cities.


There are numerous versions and variants of the format families UN / CEFACT CII and UBL. Not all have mappings. Single formats that can be used to send invoices to authorities are in this country XRechnung and, once fully published and mapped, ZUGFeRD 2.0. XCalculation is available in a UBL and in a UN / CEFACT version.

ZUGFeRD 2.0 allows using different profiles to either define only base attributes or to display the invoice content completely machine-readable. There is already a separate profile for the completeness required by EN16931. A UN / CEFACT-based XCalculation is identical in content to what is embedded in a PDF file in a ZUGFeRD 2.0 bill of the EN16931 profile.

For ZUGFeRD 2.0 there was once the draft of a roadmap, which unfortunately is now only waste. The development of ZUGFeRD takes place on a voluntary basis, perhaps it helps to get involved in the forum electronic invoice Germany (FeRD), it is mainly technical experts sought. (…)

Progress on E-CMR

This week, the UN/CEFACT (United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Digital Business) announced that the eCMR project has been approved by the Bureau for publication and project exit. This is an important step towards implementation of the eCMR and to move from pilot initiatives towards practical international application. The publication is available at the UN website for Business Requirement Specifications.

the Benelux agreed announced the start of a joint pilot on the eCMR. As of the 5th of March, the road transport sector in Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands are able to use fully digital CMR consignment notes for their haulage activities.

The pilot follows after a few years of national pilots, of which one of the main conclusions was that a true pilot could be best executed in a more international and joint approach. According to the Benelux, 65 million paper consignment notes can be saved by digitalising the CMR processes.

Spain: Valenciaport will be connected to the future international network of information and goods tracking
09/03/2018    Original language: Spanish
Approx. 5 articles

Valenciaport , through its electronic platform ValenciaportPCS , has participated in the biannual meeting of members of the International Association of Port Community System (IPCSA), which brings together 35 port operators and airports from the 5 continents, and has been held between on February 28 and March 2 in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

During the meeting, the progress made at the global level of Port Community Systems (PSC), the technological platforms for the centralized management of requests and services, and the evolution of electronic management of logistics, both in the maritime sector and in of the air. The meeting has served to analyze the evolution of different international projects, as well as the standards promoted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Customs Organization (WCO) and the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Commerce (UN / CEFACT).

On the one hand, the project of interconnection of PCSs worldwide, the so-called " Network of Trusted Networks " , has been studied , with which it is intended to share tracking information of the goods in containers to give visibility to the users. ValenciaportPCS, the APV electronic platform that allows the intelligent and secure exchange of information between public and private agents in order to improve the competitive position of the port community will be connected to this network., both in relation to land transport and rail. This tool offers more than 20 transactional and informative services to about 600 companies and public bodies, to which advanced management procedures are provided with which they obtain greater efficiency in transactions, an optimization of their resources, the automation of their processes, saving costs and time, fewer errors and better customer service.

In addition to this global interconnection project, at the IPCSA meeting the pilot project for the realization of BLs in Blockchain was presented , integrating the importer, exporter and banks with the shipping lines. Finally, the logistic information management company of the Ministry of Transport of China, LOGINK , presented the cooperation and interconnection lines that are open with the members of IPCSA , a project that is part of the OBOR initiative , One Belt One Road , the new Silk Road in which the Chinese government currently works.

Germany: mastering implementation of electronic billing
Original language: German

E-bill Act basically all invoices (regardless of amount) in its scope. In addition, the e-bill regulation states - with certain exceptions - also an obligation for the biller to submit invoices in electronic form.

Since each federal state has to ensure its own implementation of the directive, there may well be some differences at state level compared to the federal regulations adopted. This concerns in particular the following points: Restriction to the upper threshold, invoice format, obligation for invoicing, amount of the de minimis limit and transmission paths.

Consider national characteristics
Based on the requirements of EU Directive 2014/55 / ​​EU, an electronic invoice is an invoice that is created, transmitted and received in a structured dataset and in a format that enables automatic and electronic processing. Accordingly, the issuer of an e-bill may only expect it to be accepted by the public administration if it complies with the European standard for electronic invoicing (CEN standard) and a given syntax (UN / CEFACT or UBL).

However, in the Member States, the European standard may be specified and supplemented by a so-called Core Invoice Usage Specification, so that national and industry-specific features in the electronic bill can also be taken into account. As a national option for the specification of the CEN standard, the billing data exchange standard XRechnung was developed and adopted as part of a control project of the IT Planning Council. In this context, the Association of Electronic Invoicing (VeR) since autumn 2017 with the central coordination point for IT standards (KoSIT) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) organized a comprehensive simulation game for the systematic testing of electronic invoicing with the preferred standard XRechnung.

Four ways for transmission
The use of an administrative portal is mandatory for the transmission of electronic invoices to federal authorities. To support the federal administrations, a central invoice entry platform is being developed at the federal level, which should enable federal institutions to cope with the electronic invoice receipt.

For the actual transmission of the electronic invoice, four types of entry are available via a specific application: entry via web form, upload of files, web services, as well as by de-mail or e-mail. In particular, it remains to be seen which input channels the federal states and their municipalities will provide in their respective implementation laws.

Regardless of the budgetary basis, public authorities that provide tax liability are subject to the "Principles for the proper management and safekeeping of books, records and documents in electronic form and access to data (GoBD)". Accordingly, data, records, electronic documents and documents subject to recording and storage must also be stored in this form and may not be deleted before the expiration of the retention period.

Therefore, they may no longer be kept exclusively in printed form and must remain unchangeable for the duration of the retention period. For this purpose, the X-calculation process must be laid down in a process documentation and must be able to be checked by a third-party expert with regard to the formal and factual correctness within a reasonable time. Under a process documentation, the GoBD understand the description of the organisationally and technically desired process, in the case of electronic documents, for example, from the generation of the information about their indexing, processing and storage, the clear retrieval and the machine readability, the protection against loss and corruption up to the reproduction , The process documentation must show.

Plan implementation early
The introduction of the X-bill gives the administration the opportunity to benefit from the benefits of electronic invoice exchange. This is proven not least by the experiences in other countries of the European Union. However, Directive 2014/55 / ​​EU calls for early project planning and implementation by the contracting authorities. Therefore, it is advisable to work out the (legal) framework conditions and the subsequent inclusion of the actual processes. Based on the current processes, the desired situation can be derived. On this basis, an individual implementation strategy can then be developed and a technical concept developed. Finally, from a tax perspective, the preparation of a process documentation is mandatory.

E-billing summit promotes the exchange of knowledge
According to these requirements, there is a great need for information around the topic of e-billing. As a leading event, the E-Bills Summit (May 15-16, 2018, Bonn) promotes the exchange of experience and knowledge in and between the public administration and the private sector. The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Association of Electronic Invoices will guide the content of this German-speaking conference. The focus is on solutions for a smooth introduction and practical experience with e-bill.

To assist with the practical implementation, reference is made to the guide to the introduction of electronic invoices in public administration. This can be obtained free of charge on the Internet.

UN information exchange tool supports fisheries sustainability

It is estimated that the global seafood trade is worth USD 140 billion, but overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are putting the health of fisheries and ocean ecosystems at high risk.

In 2016, for instance, such practices accounted for one quarter of all fish caught, according to the United Nations (UN) statistics.

Since information on fishing practices is based on papers, it is hard to trace fish origins and monitor fisheries stocks. To combat this, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business has established a universal language for fishery exchange and information, known as Fisheries Language for Universal Exchange (FLUX).

The standard is a free, open and global tool that allows Fishery Management Organizations to automatically access the electronic data on fishing vessels, as well as trip identification, fishing operations, fishing data, landing and sales information, license information and inspection data. 

The UN believes that this novel mechanism will contribute to the  conservation and sustainability of oceans (Sustainable Development Goal 14), which will be supported by a Team of Specialists on Sustainable Fisheries.

This  team, which is an inter-governmental group which consists of public and private sector stakeholders from the fishing industry, civil society and academia,  had their first meeting on 29 and 30 January this year.

The aim of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which hosts the Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, is to “promote standards for exchange of information related to fishery activities, share experiences on development and implementation issues, and facilitate and support the implementation of these standards worldwide”. The ultimate goal is to improve the exchange of information on fishing and relevant supply chains, in order to foster a more sustainable and ecosystem-based management of marine and aquatic resources.

The UN Environment’s Environment and Trade Hub, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the FAO and representatives of other organizations, provided insights into its work around the FLUX information standard, to the Team of Specialists and the country representatives that were present at the meeting. 

The Hub provided a perspective on how the FLUX standard can inform the work on fisheries subsidies and current discussions at the World Trade Organization.

The FLUX information standard will allow to enhance the transparency of fisheries supply chains, thus facilitating the elimination of subsidies to overfishing and illegal and under-reported fishing. These insights build on earlier work undertaken by UN Environment and partners as part of their joint voluntary commitment issued at last year’s Ocean Conference. 

Through this partnership, the three organizations are committed to support states in designing and implementing trade-related policies towards fulfilling their commitments under several specific targets of the Sustainable Development Goal.

Who’s making trade easier and who’s not?


Reducing trade costs, with special emphasis on paperless trade, will aid growth and sustainable development for all countries. A United Nations global report reveals the leaders and the laggards in trade facilitation.

Make trade easier because it costs less and enables growth. This is the simple tenet explored by the most recent Global Survey on ‘Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation’ published by United Nations.

This is the second such survey (the first was released in 2015) to be jointly conducted by the five United Nations Regional Commissions, for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, and West Asia. Although each commission is set to publish its own detailed paper for download, the global view presents a clear view of progress, highlighting how different countries and regions tackle non-tariff based sources of trade costs, addressing unwieldly regulatory procedures and documentation requirements across 120 economies.

Making it easier
Trade facilitation is defined by the UN as “the simplification and harmonisation of import, export and transit procedures”. A key element is the concept of ‘paperless trade’ which it describes as “innovative, technology-driven measures aimed at enabling trade using electronic rather than paper-based data and documentation”.

With WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) having come into force in February 2017, and a growing number of regional and sub-regional initiatives being established to encourage the electronic exchange of information along international supply chains, the world is waking up to a huge opportunity for growth and efficiency. Indeed, WTO estimates show that the full implementation of the TFA could reduce trade costs by an average of 14.3% and boost global trade by up to US$1trn per year, with the biggest gains in the poorest countries.

To date, the global average implementation rate of both the FTA and paperless trade measures is about 60%, according to the UN survey. There is clearly room for improvement.


More work, more help
The report concludes that across all surveyed countries there is “strong momentum” towards the implementation of trade facilitation and paperless trade measures.

Countries, it notes, “should continue to apply modern information and communication technologies and develop paperless trade to simplify trade procedures and enable electronic exchange of data and documents, not only between stakeholders domestically, but with all the actors along the international supply chain”.

Help is at hand. Policy recommendations and technical standards have been developed by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) through the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT). In Asia and the Pacific, for example, the 2016 Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade provides the ground rules for member states to cooperate and make progress in this area.

Key trade facilitation findings summarised

  • The global average implementation rate of common trade facilitation measures is 59.6%.
  • Developed economies have the highest implementation rate (78.5%), while Pacific Islands have the lowest (28.2%).
  • Among the developing regions, Latin America, the Caribbean, and South-East and East Asia achieve high implementation rates at 67.8% and 62.7% respectively.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa and South and East Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia achieve implementation rates of 51.8% and 50.7% respectively.
  • Benin (79.6%) is the top performer in Sub-Saharan Africa, while India (72.0%) leads the way in South Asia.
  • Macedonia (81.7%) leads the South and East Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia region.
  • The Netherlands (93.6%) is the best overall performer.
  • The UN-deemed developing regions of Singapore, the Republic of Korea, China, Malaysia and Thailand are the top performers in South-East and East Asia, all with implementation rates exceeding 80%.
  • Qatar and United Arab Emirates lead the Middle East and North Africa region, both with implementation rates exceeding 90%.
  • Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and the Dominican Republic are the top performers in Latin America and the Caribbean, all with implementation rates exceeding 80%.

China: Five Years' Review of Supervision and Inspection in China


Original language: Chinese


Take measures to promote customs facilitation
During his presidency of the 16th meeting of the Central Financial Leading Group, General Secretary Xi Jinping specifically emphasized the need to improve the conditions for facilitating trade liberalization, set forth the requirements for the reform and development of the inspection and quarantine undertaking, and specified the direction. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, AQSIQ has taken various measures to promote customs clearance and facilitate the development of foreign economy.

Actively promote the inspection cooperation "three one." In the past five years, the "three ones" of cooperation in customs clearance have been piloted from some ports and have been fully extended to all customs and inspection and quarantine departments directly under the Customs, all customs clearance sites, and all goods and articles that require inspection and quarantine inspection in accordance with the law, "Once declared" system on the line operation. AQSIQ and actively promote cooperation in the inspection "a declaration, a check, a release" to simplify the customs clearance procedures to enhance work efficiency.

To promote the "single window" construction. Under the mechanism of the inter-ministerial joint meeting under the State Council's port work, the "Opinions on Promoting the Construction of a Single Window" was printed and distributed, and the "single window" construction around the country was actively promoted.

As of the end of 2015, 11 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) in the coastal areas have been on-line or pilot operated, and the State Council put forward the goal of "establishing a single window at the coastal ports by the end of 2015" as scheduled. In 2016, accelerating the "single window" construction of international trade, in conjunction with the relevant departments at the inter-ministerial joint conference mechanism under the State Council's port work, formulating proposals for the "single window" construction framework for international trade and coordinating and simplifying the data reconciliation, and conducting inspection and quarantine declaration data And the international standard (UN / CEFACT standard) benchmarking work, organize the development of inspection and quarantine declaration data set to establish a cross-border relationship with international standards. Actively open the inspection and quarantine data interface, summarize and replicate the experience of Xiamen Bureau, to achieve inspection and quarantine data platform and a single window around the docking and interoperability.

Accelerate the inspection and quarantine paperless. The past five years, AQSIQ and actively building a unified paperless business systems, to carry out the entire paperless, paperless paperless and the release of paperless work pilot. In 2015, the inspection and quarantine authority of the port reduced the inspection rate of general exit ports from 5 ‰ to 2.5 ‰, and the key inspection products decreased from 5% to 2.5%. In 2016, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine set forth the paperless inspection and quarantine work standard and sorted out the paperless implementation methods and on-site inspection requirements concerning 117 categories of import and export commodities and more than 400 kinds of documents. 报检 paperless batch coverage rate of 60% or more. At the same time, actively pilot the entire business process paperless, the use of the Internet, Internet of things and mobile communications and other means of information through information exchange Unicom, an active pilot admissibility inspection, inspection and quarantine, issuing clearance and other links, the whole process of data transmission Electronics Assignment.