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Trade home

The Trade programme, implemented by Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, works to develop closer economic relations among member States, as well as to better integrate their economies into the world economy. The trade programme's inter-governmental bodies make policy recommendations, develop standards for use in trade and assist member States in implementing them. These bodies also suggest ways and means of creating legal and administrative frameworks for fostering trade. Work includes a range of activities to assist member States with: trade facilitation; regulatory and standards policy; commercial agricultural standards; and e-business standards.

In focus

No country benefits from counterfeits. The WP.6 Advisory Group on Market Surveillance (MARS) is organizing a webinar on 21 February 2023 from 14:00hrs to 16:30hrs on "how market surveillance agencies can play a role in the combat against counterfeits". This reflects the 2007 Recommendation M on the topic and will provide an opportunity to take stock of its implementation and any eventual updates. More available on the event website.

The 40th UN/CEFACT Forum from 8 to 12 May 2023 will be filled with interesting domain sessions, panel discussions, conferences and lunch and learns. The in-person event will cover the work of UN/CEFACT across different domains and focus on Cross Border Invoicing; Standards Development Methodologies and the Role of Standards; Cross-border Trade in Agricultural Goods; ESG Traceability of Sustainable Value Chains in the Circular Economy; eQuality Certification; Verifiable Credentials for Traceability and Sustainability, API’s using the BSP Vocabulary and other interesting topics.

The 2023 Survey is conducted based on an updated questionnaire, developed by the UN Regional Commissions in cooperation with UNCTAD, ICC, OECD and many other collaborating institutions , which can be found below on this page with language versions.

This year’s Survey covers 60 measures including two new sets of measures on Trade Facilitation for E-Commerce’ and ‘Wildlife Trade Facilitation’, referring to measures related to the facilitation of cross-border e-commerce and the applications of electronic CITES permits and certificates.

Launch of the 2023 UN Global Survey on digital and sustainable trade facilitation.


  • UN/CEFACT has recently published several White Papers, Guidelines and Executive Guides which are available on the website
  • UN/CEFACT has over a dozen active projects ranging from Single Window recommendations to eQuality Certificates and Sustainable tourism to Blockchain. If you are interested in joining our work, please contact us at [email protected] 
  • UNECE is keen to present one solution: the [email protected] – a digital blockchain-powered food loss and waste management system. It is designed to identify and quantify the food which disappears on its way from the farm to our shops, the currently “invisible” food and make it available for redistributing, donating or further processing.
    Please also check the latest food loss and waste [email protected] video.
  • The 17th MARS Group meeting in Moscow showcased coordination possibilities of market surveillance worldwide with the example of the EU, addressed product non-compliance risk in international trade and the use of WP.6 Recommendations R, P, S and T in creating risk-based import compliance frameworks using predictive risk management tools. The meeting also outlined the important role of standards in the market surveillance agencies’ work.
  • Working Party 6, in collaboration with the Kyrgyz Economic University, organized a Workshop on Women Entrepreneurship which raised awareness regarding the challenges faced by women in business, when trading internationally, and identify measures to build capacity for increased female entrepreneurship.
  • New brochure on “Gender Responsive Standards”: Standards are often developed by technical committees where the participation of women is far below parity. Very few methodologies exist to probe if standards respond to gendered needs and to correct any gender bias in standards. The UNECE marked “World Standards Day” by raising awareness about UNECE Gender Responsive Standards Declaration, which aims at making standards work for women.
  • New brochure on “Standards for Sustainable Development”: The UNECE marked World Standards Day by launching the Standards for the SDGs Portal a vital awareness-raising tool, that allows UNECE and other standards developing organizations to highlight how their work helps advance Agenda 2030 and shares stories about successful implementation. All users are invited to use the available templates to submit information to be added to the portal.