Identify Standards and Solutions


Having prioritized reform areas and assessed relevant measures, implementers should consider using specific facilitation instruments. The use of existing, widely implemented standards and solutions can save time, money and resources. Several international organizations have put work and effort into addressing different challenges for trade facilitation. This has led to conventions, standards, recommendations, guidelines, code lists and data models. Such organizations include UNECE with its UN/CEFACT, WCO, IMO and IATA.


  • Adaptation of an international standard: The use of any international facilitation standard or solution requires some level of adaptation for optimal operation in a given environment. Adaptation means using those parts that are required for optimizing operations. However, adding information requirements should be avoided unless they are crucial, as this would complicate inter-operability and information exchange management.
  • Cooperate with trade: In any adoption and adaptation process of trade facilitation standards or solutions, it is essential to use the private sector. They have excellent knowledge of how international standards work in other countries or parts of the world. For instance, standards from IATA and IMO are globally used and carriers know the details of their operation.


This Guide helps identify existing standards, recommendations and tools that can simplify trade throughout the international supply chain, and sets out approaches and methodologies that underpin the reform effort. The contents are organized in a structured set of trade facilitation domains, Itineraries, instruments and organizations.