A6 Data harmonization and standardization

A6.1 Has the data harmonization and standardization been conducted on the data elements for paperless trade:

A6.1.1 At the agency level?

Background

Data compatibility is one of the main issues that need to be addressed for successful implementation of any electronic systems within an agency which can ultimately facilitate its interface with other stakeholders. Adoption of international standards on the subject is a prerequisite for achieving cross border data/document sharing.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Each and every agency responsible for cross-border trade regulations/facilitation and/or trade transactions has conducted data harmonization and standardization on the data elements for paperless trade.
    • Please list names of the agencies (description expected)
  • Partially Yes - Some agencies responsible for cross-border trade regulations/facilitation or trade transactions have conducted data harmonization and standardization on the date elements for paperless trade. Some agencies related to cross-border trade regulations or trade transactions have not conducted their data harmonization and standardization yet.
    • Please list those agencies already conducted and not conducted data harmonization and standardization at the agency level yet (description expected)
  • No - No agency responsible for cross-border trade regulations/facilitation and/or trade transactions has not conducted data harmonization and standardization on the data elements for paperless trade at the agency level yet.
Good Practices

In order to simplify, streamline and automate trade transaction and regulatory processes within any agency, documents and data elements used within each of that agency must be harmonized and standardized. Data harmonization and standardization is a necessary step towards the implementation of electronic and automated systems of the agency.

The simplification and standardization process of data elements normally involves at least the following 4 stages:

  • Capture - prepare data inventory of the agency's data and information requirements from current automated systems and paper 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 requirements 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.

International standards of data elements, e.g. based on UNTDED, UN/LOCODE, UN Core Components Library (CCL), and WCO Data Model, should be adopted.

References and Case Studies

A6.1.2 At the national level?

Background

The data compatibility is important to support connectivity among ICT systems of different agencies. If data harmonization and standardization, using international standards, can be carried out as early as possible, seamless data exchange could be achieved. It is important to note that data harmonisation and standardisation, using international standard, is an important prerequisite to achieve compatibility in cross border data/document exchange.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Data harmonization and standardization on the data elements for paperless trade has been conducted at the national level. This means all key stakeholders or their representatives of cross-border trade supply chain have participated in the analysis, harmonization and standardization of all data elements required for cross-border trade supply chain transactions. The national harmonized data set has been developed and agreed among all key stakeholders. This national harmonized data set is the basis for streamlining and implementing the paperless trade and single window systems of the country.
  • Partially Yes - Data harmonization and standardization on the data elements for paperless trade has been partially conducted. The harmonized data set has been partially developed and has not covered all data elements relevant to cross-border trade yet.
  • No - Data harmonization and standardization on the data elements for paperless trade has not been conducted at the national level. There is no harmonized data set at the national level for the implementation of any paperless trade or single window systems of the country.
Good Practices

In order to simplify, streamline and automate cross-border trade supply chain and transactions, all required documents and data elements must be harmonized and standardized. Data harmonization and standardization is a necessary step towards the streamlining and implementation of paperless trade and single window at the national level.

International standards of data elements, e.g. based on UNTDED, UN Codes for trade, UN Core Components Library (CCL), and WCO Data Model, should be adopted for this endeavour. The harmonized/standardized national data set for trade facilitation which is the outcome of this exercise will be the basis for streamlining and implementing the paperless trade and/or national single window systems at the national level.

References and Case Studies

A6.1.3 (If A6.1.1 and/or A6.1.2 is yes) Has a data model been adopted and is it based on international standards/guidelines such as UN rules for data exchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport; UN Codes for Trade and Transport Locations; Core Component Technical Specification; core component library; and/or the World Customs Organization Data Model?

Background

A data model should be adopted while data harmonization and standardization has been conducted both at the agency level and the national level. It should be based on international standards/guidelines such as UN rules for data exchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport; UN Codes for Trade and Transport Locations; Core Component Technical Specification; core component library; and/or the World Customs Organization Data Model.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - The data harmonization and standardization in A6.1.1 and A.6.1.2 has been conducted based on international standards/guidelines such as UN rules for data exchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport; UN Codes for Trade and Transport Locations; Core Component Technical Specification; Core Component Library; and WCO Data Model.
  • Partially Yes - The data harmonization and standardization in A6.1.1 and A6.1.2 has partially adopted only few international standards/guidelines such as UN rules for data exchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport; UN Codes for Trade and Transport Locations; Core Component Technical Specification; Core Component Library; and WCO Data Model. For example, UN Location codes might not be fully adopted, or WCO Data Model has not been incorporated.
  • No - The data harmonization and standardization in A6.1.1 and A6.1.2 has not adopted any international standards/guidelines such as UN rules for data exchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport; UN Codes for Trade and Transport Locations; Core Component Technical Specification; Core Component Library; and WCO Data Model.
Good Practices

Data harmonization and standardization to develop the national data set should adopt international standards/guidelines such as UN rules for data exchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport; UN Codes for Trade and Transport Locations; Core Component Technical Specification; Core Component Library; and WCO Data Model.

UN/EDIFACT (the United Nations rules for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport) comprise a set of internationally agreed standards, directories, and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data, between independent computerized information systems.

The "United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations" is commonly more known as "UN/LOCODE". Currently, UN/LOCODE includes over 103,034 locations in 249 countries and territories. It is used by most major shipping companies, by freight forwarders and in the manufacturing industry around the world. It is also applied by national governments and in trade related activities, such as statistics.

The key elements of the UN/CEFACT’s Core Components Library (CCL) are the standardized set of core Components and business information entities related to cross-border trade.

WCO Data Model includes data sets for different customs procedures and also information needed by other cross-border regulatory Agencies for the cross-border release and clearance at the border. The WCO Data Model supports the implementation of a Single Window as it allows the reporting of information to all government agency through the unique way it organizes regulatory information.

References and Case Studies

 

Glossary
  1. “Data harmonization” involves a set of activities that improve the consistency in the use of data elements in terms of their meaning and representation format. More...

  2. Paperless trade refers to the digitization of these information flows, including making available and enabling the exchange of trade-related data and documents electronically. Less formally, one can think of this as cross-border trade transactions using electronic data in lieu of paper-based documents. More...

  3. “Single window” means a facility that allows parties involved in a trade transaction to electronically lodge data and documents with a single-entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. UNECE Recommendation and Guidelines on establishing a Single Window

  4. A cornerstone of the UN/CEFACT standardization activities, “the Core Components Technical Specification (CCTS)” defines a meta model and rules necessary for describing the structure and contents of conceptual and logical data models and information exchange models.

    Major benefits of CCTS include improved reuse of existing data artifacts, improved enterprise interoperability, and consistency across vertical industry standards. More...

  5. Developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), “the WCO Data Model” is a set of carefully combined data requirements that are mutually supportive and which will be updated on a regular basis to meet the procedural and legal needs of cross-border regulatory agencies such as Customs, controlling export, import and transit transactions. More...

  6. “UN/EDIFACT (the United Nations rules for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport)” is a set of internationally agreed standards, directories, and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data, between independent computerized information systems. More...