UNNExT Electronic Single Window Legal Issues: A Capacity-Building Guide

Author/Source: UNECE and UNESCAP

Published: The Guide was published in 2012

Link to the document on the internet: Electronic Single Window Legal Issues: A Capacity-Building Guide

Objective: This Guide covers the wide-ranging legal issues that are related to the development and operation of a SW and, to a certain degree, some of the important electronic commerce legal concepts and approaches applicable to the single window environment. It is intended to give policymakers a broad understanding of the key considerations that should be addressed in effectively establishing the legal infrastructure for a SW.
The Guide is not specifically aimed to be a resource strictly for lawyers but rather at any party who, may or may not have a legal background, are expected to drive the successful development of single window and paperless trade initiatives in their country.

Overview: Many of the legal issues discussed in this Guide are generic to the legal infrastructure for both SW development and cross-border (or international) single window transactions, as there can be substantial overlap between them. Therefore, as part of enabling the single window in national law, the Guide stresses the need for countries to adopt international legal standards to ensure as far as possible that the SW is interoperable, from a legal perspective, with other national and regional single window facilities.

Against this backdrop, the Guide examines the processes that can be employed to identify and assess those potential gaps in domestic law that would create barriers: (1) to the full operation of a SW; (2) to the cross-border legal interoperability of an SW; and (3) to the legal interoperability of the SW with non-governmental entities that will participate in the SW and electronic commerce transactions (domestic and cross-border). It also examines the essential legal elements that make up the areas of law that should be considered as well as some of the organizational considerations that go into creating a SW. Furthermore, it aims to equip legal experts and policymakers with an appropriate and effective methodology for conducting the legal gap analysis as a key step in developing the national legal framework for an SW.

This Guide was compiled based on the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Recommendation 33 and Recommendation 35, the conventions and model laws of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the international texts and work at the World Customs Organization (WCO) as well as the experiences and best practices that have emerged from the work done by governments, various United Nations organizations, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the national, regional and international levels over the past eight or more years. It is the first edition of a living document that is expected to evolve as new legal standards and instruments continue to develop in the dynamic field of paperless trade and electronic commerce.

Pages that cite this Guide:

Single Window Implementation