Strengthening the capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to facilitate legitimate border crossing, regional cooperation and integration
Three years (2013-2015) - Prolonged until 30 June 2016
Developing countries and countries with economies in transition, particularly Contracting Parties to the TIR Convention
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE/Transport Division)
The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to facilitate legitimate border crossing, by means of increased secure electronic exchange of information between Customs administrations. Simultaneously, the project will further secure the supply chain and the government revenues related to the international transport of goods. Ultimately, this project will contribute to increasing the cooperation between Customs administrations and promote the use of international standard electronic messages, in particular, for transit operations.
On the basis of existing international standards on transit related information, such as those used and defined in the framework of the eTIR project, the project will deliver a Customs-to-Customs (C2C) exchange platform. Moreover, at least five pilot countries will be provided with technical assistance contracts to connect their ICT systems with the newly developed platform. Furthermore, technical workshops to be held in each region will build capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to maximise the benefits offered by the C2C exchange platform, to increase their electronic exchange of Customs information with neighbouring countries as well as to adopt international standards when it comes to electronic messages. Such cross-border electronic exchange of transit related Customs information will not only streamline border crossing procedures but also improve risk management. The adoption of existing international standards for electronic transit related messages will also be promoted and will further facilitate the work of transport operators.
Expert groups, workshops and a seminar will ensure during the whole project the exchange of best practices, capacity building and, at the end, the dissemination of the project results. The pilot countries will serve as examples and there experience will encourage additional countries to link up to the C2C exchange platform with the view to, ultimately, fully computerize transit operations globally.
The proposal is consistent with the scope and priorities of the strategic frameworks for 2012-2013 of relevant subprograms of UNECE, UNESCAP, UNECA, UNESCWA and UNECLAC and is directly linked to the Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADGs), including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Development Agenda.
The project builds on the experience of the UNECE Working Party on Customs Questions affecting Transport (WP.30) and, in particular, eight years of work of the Informal Ad hoc Expert Group on Conceptual and Technical Aspects of Computerization of the TIR Procedure (WP.30/GE.1).
Crossing borders has always been a problem in international transport and trade. Despite recent improvements, international transport still faces obstacles, costs and difficulties at borders. Border crossing problems most severely affect landlocked developing countries, as they seriously impede access of those countries to the global market and lead to substantial losses for their national economies. The competitiveness of those countries is undermined by cumbersome Customs and other control procedures. Overall, limitations to trade and transport facilitation are detrimental to economic growth, regional cooperation and integration.
Control authorities at borders face security challenges related to smuggling, terrorism, illegal trade and immigration. In view of the large volume of cross-border transport operations nowadays, Customs authorities are no longer in a position to control every vehicle or container. Instead, they have to apply risk management and identify high risk consignments on the basis of data available. However, the data provided for risk analysis in a given country could potentially be falsified or intended to mislead Customs officials. Often, the most reliable data on the goods transported is available at the Customs offices of departure at the origin of a transit movement following an export procedure. To the extent possible, these data should be captured and then made available to the Customs authorities of transit and destination countries through a common Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system, prior to the arrival of the goods. The availability of advance electronic cargo information and the establishment of C2C network arrangements have been identified as cornerstones of the global supply chain security by the World Customs Organization.
Today, only a few international conventions provide a legal basis for the exchange of information related to the international transport of goods. Among those, the Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) has the broadest geographical scope (67 countries worldwide). The exchange of electronic information is being addressed in the framework of the so-called eTIR project, which has been administered by UNECE since 2002. The eTIR project aims at full computerization of the TIR procedure and will eventually replace Customs paper documents by the exchange of electronic messages. The requirements of the necessary electronic systems have already been determined, including the establishment of a centralized C2C information network.
On the basis of the work already done by the eTIR project and its innovations, the proposed project aims at implementing and strengthening the capacity to use a versatile C2C information network in up to five pilot developing countries and countries with economies in transition with their neighbouring countries and trading partners. This will ensure a secure exchange of information related to goods in transit, inter alia those under cover of the TIR procedure. The network will be designed to facilitate, in the long term, the exchange of C2C and Business-to-Customs (B2C) information globally. The sustainability of such a network could easily be ensured by means of a minimal fee-for-use that would provide the necessary funds for the maintenance of the system. The secure electronic exchange of C2C information will lead to increased security and reduced border crossing delays.
The development of the European Union (EU) New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) as well as various national computerized transit systems (e.g. the Turkish Bilge system) have proved that paper-based transit systems can be efficiently replaced by electronic procedures. So far, these different national and regional systems do not communicate with each other when goods are transported beyond national or regional borders, except in a few cases where bilateral agreements have been signed (e.g. EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries in the framework of the Common Transit Convention). Consequently, international transit systems, TIR being the best, if not the only, example of truly international transit, rely on old-fashioned paper documentation where information is keyed in and extracted manually by both transport operators and Customs officers.
Developing countries and countries with economies in transition could greatly benefit from increased and more secure international inland transport. However, despite numerous bilateral, multilateral or international agreements, border crossing remains a major obstacle to fast and cost effective inland transport of goods (See, for example, "Overcoming Border Bottlenecks. The Costs and Benefits of Trade Facilitation", OECD Trade Policy Studies, OECD, February 2009). The lack of effective and efficient risk assessment methods remains one of the factors leading to unnecessarily long waiting times at Customs offices and triggers in some countries an extensive and expensive use of Customs escorts. Moreover, limitation in the levels of current international guarantees together with frequent miss-declaration and undervaluation undermines the potential of revenue collection linked, in particular, with import taxes and duties.
While national electronic Customs systems are a prerequisite for the establishment of efficient risk assessment procedures, timely and reliable data are required to adequately assess the risks related to international transport and ultimately reduce the losses in government revenues. Today, the supply chain is largely computerized, but Customs still largely rely on paper based documents, like the TIR Carnet, to obtain the information necessary to assess the risks. Furthermore, when additional data are required or when information is required prior to the arrival of the goods, e.g. security requirements, countries set up ad-hoc, non-harmonized regulations. The different systems for providing advanced cargo information in EU countries and in the Russian Federation are recent examples of this practice. The lack of cooperation between countries with regard to data exchange together with the absence of international standards to be used is consequently a direct cause of inadequate risk assessment.
In parallel, the lack of collaboration and standards opens the doors to corruption practices, which have severe negative effects on government revenues. Simultaneously, the lack of collaboration between countries forces each and every country along the supply chain to process information from paper documents, thus wasting resources that could further improve risk assessment and, ultimately, reduce the number of smuggling cases.
The electronic exchange of transit information among Customs administrations will have multiple impacts on the direct beneficiaries of this project, i.e. (a) legitimate international trade and transport companies, (b) Customs administrations and other cross-border agencies and (c) organizations and companies providing guarantees, thus securing the payment of duties and taxes of goods in transit in case of irregularities.
Furthermore, international trade and transport are key vectors of economic development. Through increased competition they are of benefit to consumers and, thanks to increased exports volumes, they generally ensure additional revenues for producers. This project, in view of its objective to further facilitate and secure the cross border movement of goods, including the reduction of delays at border crossings, will ultimately not only impact most economic sectors in the countries involved but will also increase the purchasing power and well-being of citizens.
- Project activities
The activities undertaken in the framework of this project have two major expected results, the increased use of international standards, in particular when it comes to the submission of B2C electronic information, as well as the increased collaboration between Customs of different countries and C2C exchange of relevant electronic information.
- Activity 1 Delivering a first inter-regional Expert Group Meeting (two days) aimed at the assessment of the legal and technical needs of candidate developing countries and countries with economies in transition to extend the exchange of electronic information with other countries (“gap” analysis). The linkages with major existing national and regional computerized transit systems will also be assessed and explored. On the basis of studies to be prepared by independent consultants, the Expert Group will determine the selection criteria and nominate at least five pilot countries.
- Activity 2 Development and deployment of a secure C2C versatile electronic exchange platform, taking due account of the specific challenges faced by developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
- Activity 3 Provision of technical assistance to national experts in at least five pilot countries to link national or regional Customs IT systems (e.g. ASYCUDA) to the C2C exchange platform or to development of an Action Plan setting out the steps needed to introduce a new C2C platform to exchange information and ensure its sustainability over time.
- Activity 4 Deliverance of five technical workshops (two days) to build capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to maximise the benefits offered by the C2C exchange platform, to increase their electronic exchange of Customs information with neighbouring countries as well as to adopt international standards when it comes to electronic messages (the project will provide funding for twenty participants at each workshop).
- Activity 5 Delivering a second inter-regional Expert Group Meeting (one day) at the end of the project to present and evaluate the results achieved in the five pilot countries.
- Activity 6 Delivering a seminar (one day and back to back with the second inter-regional Expert Group Meeting) to promote the electronic exchange of Customs information and the adoption of standard electronic messages, with special focus on the specific requirement of developing countries and countries with economies in transition on the basis of the results achieved in the five pilot countries (the project will provide funding for 45 participants from developing countries and countries with economies in transition, in particular from countries other than the pilot countries).
Second session of the Inter-regional Expert Group (Geneva, 22 June 2016)
Second session of the Inter-regional Expert Group Meeting on the Unite Nations Development Accounts Project 1213AA - Strengthening the capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to facilitate legitimate border crossing, regional cooperation and integration
Palais des Nations, Room XV
Geneva, 22 June 2016
+41 (0)22 917 1313
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 2 (2016) - Technical assistance report - ECLAC
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 3 (2016) - Technical assistance report - UNECE
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 4 (2016) - Technical assistance report - ESCAP
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 5 (2016) - Technical assistance report - UNECA/ESCWA
Presentations Title Speaker File UNDA project 1213AA - Project status Mr. André Sceia, UNECE ENG UN-ECLAC: Overview of the Pilot Project Mr. Alberto Chehebar, UN-ECLAC ENG UNDA project 1213AA - UNECE sub-project Mr. André Sceia, UNECE ENG Customs-to Customs (C2C) Electronic Information Exchange for Transit: Georgia – Turkey. Georgia: Project Status Ms. Ekaterina Katamadze, GEC ENG Implementation of the UNDA project 1213AA in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and results achieved Mr. Fedor Kormilitsyn, ESCAP ENG Analyse des Gaps techniques et juridiques relatifs aux échanges électroniques DOUANES / DOUANES (C2C) Mr. Lotfi Ayadi, UNESCWA FRA UNDA project 1213AA - Conclusions and way forward ENG UNDA project 1213AA - Project evaluation ENG
Seminar for the Promotion of Electronic Exchange of Customs Information and the Adoption of Standard Electronic Messages (Geneva, 20-21 June 2016)
Seminar for the Promotion of Electronic Exchange of Customs Information and the Adoption of Standard Electronic Messages
Palais des Nations, Room V
Geneva, 20-21 June 2016
+41 (0)22 917 1313
Presentations Title Speaker File Session 1: Facilitating transport and transit – the roles of ICT Facilitation of Transit for Landlocked Developing Countries Mr. Sandagdorj Erdenebileg, UNOHRLLS ENG UN/CEFACT Deliverables Mr. Lance Thomson, UN/CEFACT ENG UNECE practical experience in global customs to customs connectivity for transit Mr. André Sceia, UNECE ENG Session 2: Facilitating trade and transit through the use of international standards A tool for simplifying cross-border trade Ms. Maria Ceccarelli, UNECE ENG Introduction to the WCO Data Model Mrs. Hermie George, WCO ENG Session 3: Customs tools and standards for C2C information exchange IT Tools in TIR / eTIR pilot Mr. Thierry Kunz, IRU ENG UNESCAP - ICT-based Transport Facilitation Tools Mr. Fedor Kormilitsyn, UNESCAP ENG Customs Data Exchange: UNCTAD ASYCUDA Experience Mr. Dmitry Godunov, UNCTAD ENG Session 4: IT supporting the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Provisions in the WTO TFA which might require ICT support and solutions for their implementation Mr. Alejandro Gamboa-Alder, WTO ENG ICT Supporting WTOTFA Implementation Ms. Hermie George ENG Relation between the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, the TIR Convention and other Legal Instruments Mr. Tarcisio Hardman Reis, UNECE ENG Session 5: Presentation of the results of the UNDA project Results of the UNDA project 1213AA - UNECE sub-project Mr. André Sceia, UNECE ENG Customs-to Customs (C2C) Electronic Information Exchange for Transit: Georgia – Turkey. Project Status (Georgia) - Central Exchange Platform (CEP) Ms. Ekaterina Katamadze, GEC ENG Implementation of the UNDA project 1213AA “Strengthening the capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to facilitate legitimate border crossing, regional cooperation and integration” in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and results achieved Mr. Fedor Kormilitsyn, ESCAP ENG Strengthening the Capacities of Developing Countries and Countries with Economies in Transition to Facilitate Legitimate Border Crossing, Regional Cooperation and Integration Mr. Mamytov Beknazar, AIRTO KR ENG UN-ECLAC: Overview of the Pilot Project Mr. Alberto Chehebar, consultant ENG Plateforme des échanges électroniques des données « C2C » pour les pays du Maghreb Mr. Lotfi Ayadi, UNECA FRA PLATEFORME D’ECHANGE ELECTRONIQUE DES DONNEES C2C Mr. Mohamed Taieb SAAD, ESCWA FRA Session 6: C2C electronic data exchange: Improving transit systems Regional platform for land transit in Central America Mr. Eduardo Espinoza, SIECA ENG New Computerised Transit System Mr. Gyula Meszaros, European Union ENG Information Exchange of Customs Records Ms. Natalia Oquendo, Mercosur ENG, ESP The Pacific Alliance Ms. Barbara Matamala, Pacific Alliance ENG Session 7: Country experiences in C2C electronic data exchange Turkish Experience and Projection in Use for the Transit Systems Mrs. Didem Dirlik, Turkey ENG Customs Transit: Practice and Perspectives Mr. Baktybek Baiserkeev, Kyrgyz Republic RUS
National Technical Workshop on Electronic Exchange of Data on International Transport between Customs Authorities (Dushanbe, 24 May 2016)
National Technical Workshop on Electronic Exchange of Data on International Transport between Customs Authorities
Dushanbe · Tajikistan · 24 May 2016
Focal points: Fedor Kormilitsyn
Phone: +66 2 288 2496
Fax: +66 2 288 1020
Workshop on Customs-to-Customs in the Arab Region (Casablanca, Morocco, 2-4 December 2015)
Workshop on Customs-to-Customs Electronic Data Exchange
Casablanca - Morocco · 2-4 December 2015
Workshop on Customs-to-Customs Electronic Data Exchange (Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, 7-8 September 2015)
Workshop on Customs-to-Customs Electronic Data Exchange
Issyk-Kul · Kyrgyzstan · 7-8 September 2015
Focal point: Fedor Kormilitsyn
Phone: +66 2 288 2496
Fax: +66 2 288 1020
Customs-to-Customs data exchange Workshop (Tbilisi, 22-23 June 2015)
Customs-to-Customs data exchange Workshop
Hotel Costé, Kostava Street 45A
Tbilisi · Georgia ·22-23 June 2015
+41 (0)22 917 1313
+995 (32) 226 29 03 / +995 (599) 914166
Business Intelligence applied to customs’ risks and valuation and the WCO Data Model (San José, Costa Rica, 16-17 June 2015)
Business Intelligence applied to customs’ risks and valuation and the WCO Data Model
San Jose, Costa Rica, June 16-17, 2015
Presentations Title Speaker File Sesión I: Inteligencia de Negocios (BI) y Data Mining Conceptos básicos sobre inteligencia de negocios Alberto Chehebar ES Introducción a Tablero de Control
Herramientas de Data Mining
Cecilia Ruz,Luis Azaña Bocanegra
ES Aplicación de Herramientas de Data Mining Cecilia Ruz, Luis Azaña Bocanegra ES Facilitación del Comercio: Modernización de los Pasos de Frontera en Centroamérica
ES Sesión II: El Modelo de Datos de la Organización Mundial de Aduanas (OMA)
Introducción al Modelo de Datos de la OMA
Implementación de Modelo de Datos de la OMA
Mejores práctica del intercambio de la información. Norma TIR
Apoyo de la SIECA a la facilitación del comercio y su relación con el modelo de datos de la OMA y Proyecto Regional de Apoyo a la Integración Económica Centroamericana y a la Implementación del acuerdo de Asociación (PRAIIA)
First session of the Inter-regional Expert Group (Geneva, 8 December 2014)
First session of the Inter-regional Expert Group Meeting on the Unite Nations Development Accounts Project 1213AA - Strengthening the capacities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to facilitate legitimate border crossing, regional cooperation and integration
Geneva, 8 December 2014 - salle VIII, Palais de Nations, Geneva
Focal point: André Sceia
Phone: +41 (0)22 917 1313
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 2 (2014) - Gap Analysis - UNECE
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 3 (2014) - Gap Analysis - ESCWA
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 4 (2014) - Gap Analysis - UNECA
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 5 (2014) - Gap Analysis - ESCAP
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 6 (2014) - Gap Analysis - ECLAC
Informal document UNDA1213AA/No. 7 (2014) - Next steps
Objectives and status
The TIR Convention, the eTIR Project and the UNECE-IRU eTIR pilot project
Joint use of border crossing points between Turkey and Georgia
Gap Analysis of Current Legal and Technical Framework for Electronic C2C Exchange of Transit Information between Georgia and Neighboring Countries - UNECE
Analyse des Gaps techniques et juridiques relatifs aux échanges électroniques entre les douanes de deux pays (C2C Transit) - UNESCWA
Analyse des Gaps techniques et juridiques relatifs aux échanges électroniques entre les douanes de deux pays (C2C Transit) - UNECA
A gap analysis for customs to customs data exchange in Costa Rica - UNECLAC
- Project results
Report of the first inter-regional Expert Group Meeting
Results of the technical assistance
Analysis of Conditions and Proposed Roadmap for Electronic Data Exchange between the Customs Authorities of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
Roadmap (English, Russian)
Assister la douane Tunisienne pour se connecter à une plateforme d’échange des données électronique C2C
Reports, conclusions and recommendations from the regional technical workshops
UNECE - Tbilisi
ECA & ESCWA - Casablanca (English, French)
ESCAP - Issyk-Kul (English, Russian) - Dushanbe (English, Russian)
ECLAC - San José
Second inter-regional Expert Group Meeting (22 June 2016)
Seminar on the promotion the electronic exchange of customs transit information and the adoption of standard electronic messages (20-21 June 2016)
- Contact Us
UNECE Transport Division
Palais des Nations - CH-1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 (0) 22 917 2401 - Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 0039
Mr. André Sceia
ECA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Mr. Ochozias A GBAGUIDI
Mrs. Karima Bounemra BEN SOULTANE
Mr. Abdoul Kane
ECLAC - United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America
Mr. Nanno MULDER
ESCAP - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Mr. Fedor KORMILITSYN
ESCWA - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Mr. Mohamed Chemingui
Mr. Adel Al-Ghaberi