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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.