The Buy-Ship-Pay model

The Buy-Ship-Pay model developed by UN/CEFACT describes the main processes and parties in the international supply chain. The supply chain ensures that goods are ordered, shipped and paid for while complying with regulatory requirements and supporting trade security. The Buy-Ship-Pay model identifies the key commercial, logistical, regulatory and payment procedures involved in the international supply chain and provides an overview of the information exchanged between the parties throughout its various steps. The model presents a "top-down" view of the supply chain linking the detailed "bottom-up" actions derived from the business requirements specified in the UN/CEFACT standards development process. New operations are incorporated in the model as new projects are tackled by UN/CEFACT.

The model was formally developed according to the UN/CEFACT Modelling Methodology (UMM) using Enterprise Architect software. The International supply chain reference model and the Buy-Ship-Pay model have the same origin. The idea of creating a reference model for trade transactions was refined to the more specific scope of Buy-Ship-Pay phases within the supply chain.
The concept is described in "ISCM Reference Model-2001" available at

Relevance to trade facilitation

The Buy-Ship-Pay model facilitates Business Process Analysis efforts in various ways. First, it can be utilized in the scope phase by providing an overview, i.e. guidelines and schemata at a higher level. Secondly, it can be used during "To-Be" modelling as a template in the detailed process modelling phase. Generally speaking, it can be utilized as a reference model.

Business partners in international trade

The Buy-Ship-Pay model identifies four main business partner types: Customer, Supplier, Intermediary and Authority. The types or organizations that make up these four categories, and the roles they play, are described. The following list identifies the main ones.

Buyer Seller Transport Service Supplier Customs
Importer Exporter Freight Forwarder Environment
Consignee Consignor Bank Agriculture
Ship to Ship from Insurance Provider Standards
Payor Payee Customs Agent
    Broker Health
    Commission Agent Port
      Intervention Board (EU)
      Chamber of Commerce

Business processes and business transactions in international trade

The following figure illustrates the business processes and transactions that are included in the Buy-Ship-Pay model. Only the SHIP part is shown with the two top levels. Below that level, business process views of the named transactions are stored in the model. They are more detailed, and are linked to the UN/CEFACT transaction data model.

The table shows a more detailed view of the business processes and transactions included in the Buy-Ship-Pay model.
The diagrams are from the Buy-Ship-Pay model, and show the level of detail of information available for each process. A full list of business processes and transactions mat be found at