UNCTAD, IATA extend partnership to facilitate global trade

The two organizations will leverage their leadership in their respective fields to boost e-commerce in developing countries through improved exchanges of trade data.


UNCTAD and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have extended their collaboration to facilitate international trade, particularly e-commerce.

The extended partnership will enrich their history of working together. This includes the successful integration of air cargo messaging standards (Cargo-XML) into UNCTAD’s automated customs management system, ASYCUDAWorld.

For the 100 counties choosing to deploy the latest version of ASYCUDAWorld, this enables more efficient processing of air cargo shipments.

“Through this extended partnership, we look forward to leveraging the leadership of UNCTAD and IATA in their respective fields to boost e-commerce in developing countries through improved exchanges of trade data,” said Shamika N. Sirimanne UNCTAD’s technology and logistics director.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of ASYCUDA, an integrated customs management system that plays a key role supporting countries’ efforts to mobilize domestic revenues through implementing trade facilitation policies, efficient procedures and regional integration, while building capacity and safeguarding natural resources.

Stepping up collaboration

The next stage of the collaboration between UNCTAD and IATA will focus on enabling ASYCUDAWorld to manage e-commerce shipments more efficiently. It will include adding a risk assessment for mail shipments and facilitating access to the IATA enhanced partner identification and connectivity (EPIC) platform.

This will enable customs authorities to share advance cargo/mail information requirements across the digitized supply chain (airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers and third-party messaging service providers).

The collaboration will also include the potential exchange of additional operational electronic information such as air cargo rules, flight schedules and others that can assist customs officials in their risk assessments.

“UNCTAD and IATA are working together to support the economic opportunities of e-commerce by modernizing the data exchange needed for customs clearance,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president for the operations, safety and security division.

“Global standards enable accurate information and effective risk-assessments. This in turn promotes stronger compliance and will contribute to a safe supply chain, which should give the authorities the confidence to modernize processes,” Mr. Careen added.

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