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UN/CEFACT discusses Single Window developments

Single Windows ease trade by allowing international traders to submit trade documents to a single centralized location, thus saving time and costs. In 2005, UNECE published Recommendation 33, which lays the foundation for establishing a Single Window environment. Since then, a number of developments aiming at making Trade Facilitation more effective have affected the implementation of such mechanisms and the exchange of information at Government to Government, Business to Government and Business to Business level. These include, among others, the adoption of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), evolving regional and national priorities, as well as the continuing advancement of technology.

Over the years, UN/CEFACT proposed several solutions and policy recommendations to support Governments and businesses in improving their Single Window with the ultimate goal to facilitate international trade.

The work completed so far includes UNECE Recommendation 34 on Data Simplification and Standardization for International Trade, UNECE Recommendation 35 on Establishing a Legal Framework for International Trade Single Window, and UNECE Recommendation 36 on Single Window Interoperability, presented at the 23rd UN/CEFACT Plenary for approval next week.

The evolution of the Single Window environment encompassed the development of themed Single Windows, such as Customs or Maritime Single Windows. In addition, the recently approved UN/CEFACT Technical Note on Terminology for Single Window and other electronic platforms aims at providing a more consistent use of the term ‘Single Window’.

Today, at the 29th UN/CEFACT Forum Conference on Single Window Evolution, some 70 experts discussed challenges and requirements for Single Windows based on developments of relevant WTO and WCO policies, regulatory and technical frameworks, but also issues concerning regional trends in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Latin America. The conference featured practical examples of different types of Single Windows or similar platforms, ranging from customs or maritime to full Single Window environments mandated by Governments as well as supply chain or logistics platforms. Current and future technical solutions to today’s challenges were also explored.

More information about the Conference, including documents and presentations, is available at: https://www.unece.org/index.php?id=45310#/