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Digitization transit accompanying documents - Document requirements for goods in transit



Project Details

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dateMar 09, 2018 12:14

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Digitization Transit Accompanying Documents - Document Requirements for Goods in Transit

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Project Purpose

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Goods crossing territories in transit towards their final destination need to be compliant with national legislation of these transit countries regarding customs laws the protection of the environment, plant and animal health and animal welfare. Shippers must ensure that they obtain all relevant licenses, approvals, certificates for the movement of the goods and that the shipments are correctly labeled/marked, documented, and presented to the authorities in the country of departure, destination, and country (ies) of transit. The necessary arrangements include that the goods/shipments moved under transit are accompanied by documents, including the customs documentation (in EU terminology called TAD), and other licenses and certificates related to the shipments and goods. Hauliers (carriers) must present these documents at the offices of departure, destination and offices of transit, as well as sometimes also for controls en-route. 
Up until today, in most jurisdictions, these documents need to be presented in paper form to the authorities in the office(s) of transit. Initiatives for digitization of cross-border trade documents are foremost designed to suit the requirements of the authorities in the country of destination and departure. The legal obligations of authorities in the transit countries seem not always been taken into consideration. An exception is the customs domain where various regional framework are designed or in place to digitize the entire transit procedure, or most recent initiatives in the transport sector related to the DAR. 
The dematerialization of trade documents and paperless exchange of SPS and other licenses, such as CITES or WASTE, between authorities of the importing and exporting country may create a challenge for authorities in transit countries. The hard copy of the respective documents that must be presented and approved to fulfil legal obligations related to those documents, is no longer there and the data is not available for authorities in transit countries in the required format. For goods in transit, hauliers still must present these documents in the offices of transit and control points. 
This White Paper aims to take stock of existing challenges and constraints for movement of goods under transit and to identify how they could be addressed to create a paperless transit environment. It reviews existing legal and operational practices with regards to presentation and control of transit accompanying documents (non-customs), and the use of relevant UN/CEFACT standards (data models, messages, BRS). It will further explore options with regards to integration of requirements of authorities in transit countries and identify possibilities for the private sector to make electronic exchanged documents available for authorities of transit countries.
It will also take stock of existing legal requirements for prior approval or movement of goods under transit on SPS ground and explore venues for simplification through principles such as mutual recognition agreements to satisfy the SPS objectives. 
The aim is to present options for paperless controls by authorities in transit countries by making digital exchange schemes available and, where considered possible and appropriate, simplify relevant transit permits and licenses (and related procedures).  

Project Scope

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The project is part of UN/CEFACT activities of the PoW 2021-2022, namely focus area C Developing further;

(g)  The development of standards and recommendations to enhance the harmonization, exchange and processing of certificates used in trade;

(h)  Work on a mutual recognition mechanism to facilitate domestic and cross-border paperless trade; and,

(i)  Recommendations and standards relevant to existing UN/CEFACT domains such as Transport and Logistics; Supply Chain Management and Procurement; Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrifood; Travel and Tourism; etc.

UN/CEFACT considers Cross-border standardization, simplification and harmonization to be fundamental tools for the facilitation of international trading processes forming the nucleus of UN/CEFACT work.

It complements existing UN/CEFACT standards and recommendations and aims to overcome existing challenges and constraints for paperless movement of goods under transit …

The project will provide clear, accessible and concise guidance for options to make accompanying documents digital available during transit and, where deemed possible, for further enhancing integration capabilities of authorities in transit countries for their controls of digitized transit documents as well as, simplifications. This work will benefit the development of UN/CEFACT standards in future and governments implementing digitized trade facilitation solutions for goods moving in transit. 

Project Deliverables

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The project deliverables are:
     •	Deliverable 1:	Webinar to invite experts for brainstorming
     •	Deliverable 2:	White Paper on digitization transit accompanying documents
     •	Deliverable 3:	Webinar to present findings 

Exit Criteria

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The exit criteria will be:
     •	Exit Criteria for Deliv. 1:	Webinar took place.
     •	Exit Criteria for Deliv. 2: White paper ready to publish. Internal and External comment logs demonstrating that all comments have been taken into consideration.
      •	Exit Criteria for Deliv. 3:	Webinar took place.

Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise

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Membership is open to UN/CEFACT experts with broad knowledge in the area of: broad knowledge of standards production and awareness of implementer’s expectations, the functions of UN/CEFACT, and its groups.

In addition, Heads of Delegations may invite technical experts from their constituency to participate in the work.

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 and the policy on Intellectual Property Rights.

Geographical Focus

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The geographical focus of the project is global.

Initial Contributions

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     •	BSP-RDM
     •	eCERT

Resource Requirements

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

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