Recommendation No. 34

Data Simplification and Standardization for International Trade

Author/Source: UNECE through its Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT)

Year of adopting/publication: 2011 (first version)
Document Reference: ECE/TRADE/400

Link to the document on the internet: Recommendation No. 34

Purpose: To provide guidelines on the way government information requirements could be harmonized and standardized.
The guidelines state that the simplification and standardization process should involve the following 4 stages;

  • Capture - prepare a national trade data inventory of current government agency data and information requirements from automated systems and documents to cover all requirements for the international trade procedures related to import, export and transit.
  • Define - prepare a record giving the name, definition and representation (text, format or code) of each data element
  • Analyse - prepare an analysis of the information requirement and data element, establishing whether its need is essential and its use can be demonstrated.
  • Reconcile - prepare a consolidation of the defined and analyzed trade data listing through the process of reconciliation.

Summary: The Recommendation recommends a 4-stage process to achieve the objective of a national simplified and standardized dataset that facilitates information exchange between trade and government. By following the process, governments should be able to reduce regulatory and official information requirements through the elimination or duplication of submissions and the removal of redundant data elements.

Pages that cite the Rec. No. 34:

Data Harmonisation
Single Window Implementation
Trade Data Definitions