UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release


6th UN/CEFACT Forum session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
approves five Business Requirements Specifications (BRS)

Geneva, 23 March 2005 - Significant future improvements in trade facilitation will result from the adoption, by software makers, of the electronic business and trade facilitation standards. To achieve these improvements, UN/CEFACT has placed at the centre of its e-Business strategy three fundamental elements:

  • Cross-sectoral analysis (to promote interoperability and supply chain synchronicity);
  • Business process and information modelling (to capture user requirements, independent of any specific technology, through the creation of business collaboration models); and
  • Mapping to new technologies as they emerge (e.g., eXtensible Markup Language (XML), Web Services, shared and/or distributed objects, etc.).

The vast breadth of business knowledge will be captured by Business Requirement Specifications (BRS) that are independent of the underlying technology and explicit means of implementation. The benefits to the users will be the protection of existing infrastructure investments by reducing the cost of transitioning to new technologies.

At the UN/CEFACT Forum meeting, held in Kuala Lumpur from 14 to 18 March 2005, the Steering Committee of the International Trade and Business Processes Permanent Group (TBG) formally approved the first Business Requirement Specifications (BRS) to be submitted to the next UN/CEFACT Plenary session for approval as UN/CEFACT Business Standards, namely:

- Cross industry invoice;
- Cross industry remittance advice;
- BoostAero e-Supply Chain;
- Material Safety Data Sheet;
- E-Tendering.

A description of each of these BRS follows.

Cross Industry Invoice

The commercial invoice is an important document exchanged between trading partners. In addition to its prime function as a request for payment, from the customer to the supplier, the invoice is an important accounting document and has potential legal implications for both trading partners.

The purpose of this document is to define globally consistent invoicing processes for worldwide supply chains, using a UN/CEFACT Modelling Methodology (UMM) approach and Unified Modelling Language to describe and detail the business processes and transactions involved.

Cross Industry Remittance advice

The remittance advice process is part of the payment process for the transfer of funds between the customer and the supplier in the supply chain. The following functions comprise the payment cycle:

  • remittance advice process: the remittance advice transmission between the customer and the supplier;
  • payment order process: the execution of the payment (transfer of funds) between the customer, customer’s bank, supplier bank and the supplier.

The purpose of this document is to define a globally consistent remittance advice process between the customer and the supplier for use in supply chains worldwide, using the UN/CEFACT Modelling Methodology (UMM) approach and Unified Modelling Language to describe and detail the business processes and transactions involved.

BoostAero e-Supply Chain

The main air and space industries, with the support of the Aerospace Industries of America (AIA) and the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) have defined a set of globally consistent procurement processes for the Airspace and Defence industry supply chain using the UN/CEFACT Modelling Methodology (UMM) approach and Unified Modelling Language (UML) to describe and detail business processes in the air industry supply chain.

The scope is limited to the relations between vendors and acquisitionists and will not concern – at least for the moment – third-party participants (carriers, logisticians, freight forwarders).

The document deals with purchases of aeronautic parts, services, manufacturing (machining, tooling, designing) but does not address issues concerning CAD-CAM data exchange.

Material Safety Data Sheet

The Material Safety Data Sheet Project (MSDS) project, sponsored by the US Government, is designed to allow trading partners around the world to exchange hazardous material (HAZMAT) information in an internationally recognized format. The MSDS, published by the American National Standards Institute and required by the US Government, contains information about the known or possible health and safety effects of exposure to hazardous material. The MSDS is also the source for chemical-specific data for compliance with reporting requirements under two US Government acts. The MSDS may contain the following hazardous material information:

- personal protections;
- emergency response;
- proper procedures for shipment and storage;
- pollution prevention;
- release, emission;
- waste generation management;
- regulatory reporting requirements.

Because of the US Government’s broad base of trading partners, both nationally and internationally, the UN/CEFACT organization was a natural choice as a forum for developing an electronic exchange format. By utilizing a global trade exchange, the Government hopes to work more effectively and efficiently with all its trading partners.


The objective of this work is the standardization of business processes, transactions and business information entities in the field of electronic tendering/bidding across industries. Version 1.0 focuses especially on the Works domain. The Goods and Services domains will be included in Version 2.0.

This document was developed by an eTendering project within TBG6 (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) under Mr. Jun-Ichi YAMASHITA (Fujita Business System Inc. / Japan) as the project leader, and with Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom as participating member countries.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Jean Kubler
Acting Chief, Global Trade Solutions Branch
UNECE Trade Development and Timber Division
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Phone: +41 (0) 22 917 2774
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 0037
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.uncefact.org

Ref: ECE/TRADE/05/P02