Distr.
RESTRICTED

TRADE/WP.4/R.1221
2 February 1996

ENGLISH ONLY
ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE
COMMITTEE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE

Working Party on the Facilitation of
International Trade Procedures
(Item 13 of the provisional agenda
of the Meeting of Experts on Data
Elements and Automatic Data Interchange(GE.1)
Fifty-third session, 18-19 March 1996)

* * *

A PROPOSAL TO ENHANCE THE ECE/WP.4 DOCUMENTATION SERVICES

* * *
Submitted by the Norwegian delegation *

The Group of Experts is invited by the submitters to:

- discuss this document.


* The present document is reproduced in the form in which it was received by the secretariat.




          A PROPOSAL TO ENHANCE THE ECE/WP.4 DOCUMENTATION SERVICES
                                       


The delegation from Norway submits the following proposal in order to enhance
WP.4 document distribution. The WP.4 Secretariat could provide delegates to WP.4
meetings with a CD-ROM containing the following information:

All documents referenced as TRADE/WP.4/.....
All related recommendations: UN/ECE, ISO, etc. (if possible)

This service will be an addition to the current documentation services by the
WP.4 Secretariat. CD-ROMs should ideally be distributed biannually.

The distribution of CD-ROMs will save resources for the delegations. The CD-ROM
will eliminate the need for paper archives, thus eliminating work involved in
archiving and retrieving the documents. At the same time, the CD-ROM will provide
users with instant information from the UN/ECE documents. It will be possible to
read the UN/ECE documents on-screen and even possibly include extracted text in
other documents. 

Compared to current solution, the distribution of CD-ROMs will also save
delegations' money. The delegates will have access to the electronically stored
documents without having to connect to a WWW site (World Wide Web/Internet). To
download all information needed from WWW is time consuming and expensive,
considering bills from telephone companies and the network providers.

The CD-ROM may also include the WP.4 related information that is available on the
UNICC WWW site. This information on CD-ROM can be accessed using WWW browsers.
The hyper text links in documents make it easier to access the desired
information. The information does not have to be changed; one can easily surf on
the HTML pages on the CD-ROM.

Documents already produced can be stored on the CD-ROM in the original format.
Documents produced in the future may be distributed in the PDF format (Adobe
Acrobat). Some of the most important documents already produced may preferably be
stored in PDF-format. With the freely distributed software Adobe Acrobat Reader,
all can read the document as it was produced.

Use of the CD-ROM can be made user-friendly by providing an index tool, i.e. for
easier access to desired information. This index, e.g. made as HTML file(s), may
list all documents related to for example UN/LOCODE.

Delegations are here offered a tool for better archives and faster access to
relevant information at a low price (a CD-ROM player is necessary). WP.4 and its
secretariat should take advantage of equipment available at UN Sales Publication
Office, equipment necessary to produce a CD-ROM master. This master can be used
to multiply the CD-ROM at an appropriate CD-ROM production plant. If necessary,
the CD-ROM distribution service could be financed by collecting entrance and
subscription fees from delegations interested in receiving CD-ROMs at a regular
basis.

The fees will cover preparation and production costs. Eventual surplus may be
used to enhance the benefits of using the CD-ROM (additional features), and to
extend use of new technology (hardware and/or software) to the benefit of the
subscribers.

The Norwegian delegation hereby proposes that CD-ROM distribution service be
established. If the WP.4 agree with this proposal, a competent ad-hoc group on
technical and financial issues should be formed to assist the secretariat in
having this new service established as soon as possible.

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