The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of areas such as international commercial dispute resolution, international contract practices, transport, insolvency, electronic commerce, international payments, secured transactions, procurement and sale of goods, and infrastructure development.

UNCITRAL's work related to trade facilitation

For more than thirty years UNCITRAL has prepared legal texts on the use of electronic communications and electronic signatures. The outcome of that work includes the UNCITRAL Model Law on E-Commerce, the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communication in International Contracts, and the UNCITRAL Model Law on E-Signature provide useful guidance for countries moving to paperless trade. Those texts have been adopted in a large number of jurisdictions and are widely regarded as global standards legally enabling commercial and non-commercial transactions.

The adoption of UNCITRAL texts is recommended to establish a legal environment enabling the use of electronic means and, in particular, to ensure seamless interaction between commercial operators and public bodies such as customs authorities. Such approach has lately been adopted in the Protocol on the Legal Framework to Implement the ASEAN Single Window.