Update of Recommendation 1 on UN Layout Key for Trade Documents

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Submitted dateLast Update DateVersionProject Proposal StatusProject Page
2015-08-21 2015-08-17 0.2
Update of Recommendation 1 on UN Layout Key for Trade Documents



Project Purpose

This project’s purpose is to update the UN/CEFACT Recommendation No. 1 “UN Layout Key for Trade Documents” as well as its “Guidelines for Application”. Recommendation 1 provides an international basis for the standardization of documents used in international trade and transport and for visual display representations of such documents. Recommendation 1 was first published in 1973 and the current recommendation text dates from 1981. Recommendation 1 has been supplemented by guidelines and informative annexes in the early 2000s. The guidelines added to Rec. 1 provide, among other content, a very important number of examples. At this time, the two texts read as two separate documents: the recommended practice and the guidelines for application.

Project Scope

The present project proposal will consolidate existing material into a single set of guidelines with supporting annexes, moving many of the examples to an informative case-study repository. This will provide an updated package of this recommendation which will further facilitate the smooth flow of information in domestic and international trade. Creating sets of aligned documents was a core subject of the 1981 revision of the Recommendation No. 1; this will be enhanced within this revision. Furthermore, within the past ten years, information communication technologies (ICTs) have seen rapid developments which have provided a momentum to move from paper-based trade documentation to electronic equivalents. The future revised Recommendation No. 1 will address both the paper-based documents as well as their electronic equivalents.

Project Deliverables

The project deliverables are: a) Revised Recommendation on UN Layout Key for Trade Documents. b) Revised Guidelines for Application c) Repository of relevant examples (will be an ongoing work after the project)

Exit Criteria

Revised recommendation and guidelines – revised recommendation text and guideline text are ready for publishing & external review log showing that all serious comments have been considered.

Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise

Membership is open to experts with broad knowledge in the area of trade facilitation, trade & transport documents and aligned documents. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics.

Head of Delegation Support

To be decided

Geographical Focus

The geographic focus is global.

Initial Contributions

• Recommendation 1, 1981, ECE/TRADE/137 • Addendum to Recommendation 1, 2001, TRADE/CEFACT/2001/15 • Guidelines for Application, 2002, ECE/TRADE/270 • Examples of UN Layout key usage globally as well as examples of aligned documents. • Guide for the Design of Aligned Trade Forms for Paperless Trade, 2011, ECE/TRADE/372

Resource Requirements

Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any resources from the UNECE Secretariat.

Project Leadership

Project Leader: Mike Doran Lead Editor: Gordon Cragge Additional Editors: to be determined






Expected Completion Date



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Expected Completion Date



Expected Completion Date



Expected Completion Date


Expected Completion Date


Expected Completion Date

RecommendationYES2015-08-31 NO YES2015-10-02 YES2016-01-02 YES YES NO 
GuidelinesYES2015-08-31 NO YES2016-01-15 YES2016-04-15 YES YES YES 
Repository of relevant examplesNO NO NO NO NO NO YES2016-04-30

Project Proposal Files

  File Modified
Microsoft Word Document 150820 Rec1rev project proposal v0_2.docx Oct 12, 2015 by Gianguglielmo