Within the United Nations, the UNECE serves as the focal point for the development of UN recommendations and standards in trade facilitation and electronic business. These recommendations and standards support both commercial and government business processes with the aim of fostering growth in international trade and related services. This work is carried out by the UNECE’s United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) which has a global remit and is open to participation from all UN member States. UN/CEFACT supports activities dedicated to improving the ability of business, trade and administrative organizations, from developed, developing and transition economies, to exchange products and relevant services effectively. Its principal focus is on facilitating national and international transactions through the simplification and harmonization of processes, procedures and information flows, and so contributing to the growth of global commerce.
All UNECE trade facilitation recommendations and standards are made freely available.
One very valuable tool that UNECE has developed is the Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide (TFIG). This is a one-stop shop, in 5 languages, where policymakers and implementers can find essential trade facilitation information from more than 10 organizations. This web-based interactive tool also includes a section where users can directly link from each article and measure under the WTO trade facilitation Agreement to the tools and trade facilitation instruments for supporting implementation that are available from both the UNECE and other international organizations. To reflect the cross-organizational nature of the TFIG and the cooperation that it has fostered, the Guide is in the process of being transformed into the United Nations’ TFIG (with the maintenance and updating continuing to be ensured by UNECE).