Electronic trade and transport documents and data

As part of the high-profile multi-agency United Nations Development Account project Transport and Trade Connectivity in the Age of Pandemics, UNECE has developed a segment focusing on the harmonization of standards for the digitalization of data and document exchange in multimodal transport and trade. The objective is to use the standards of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), a UNECE subsidiary body, notably the UN/CEFACT Multimodal Transport Reference Data Model, to provide for interoperability and data exchange between documents, modes of transport and sectors. This will allow for seamless exchange of information, for example in digital corridors, and will limit person-to-person contacts in the supply chain. The use of United Nations standards and modern IT tools, provided as international public goods, helps improve the efficiency and safety of international transport and trade in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The segment is producing, step-by-step, a package of standards to be used in the digitalization of key documents accompanying goods transported by various modes: maritime, road, railway, air and inland water transport. If the data sets in these documents are interoperable with the United Nations standards, this will allow for interoperability along transport and supply chains. The objective is not to impose solutions (ready electronic documents) to the various stakeholders, but to provide solutions for interoperability, including the use of such modern technologies as XML and JSON API. Initial pilot implementation cases have started, such as the digitalization of the multimodal Bill of Lading of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) or a pilot test of the concept focusing on the exports of wood products from Belarus to Central Europe, using road, railway, river and sea transportation (a Dnieper – Danube pilot test).

Contact details:

Mr. Mario Apostolov
Regional Adviser
Economic Cooperation and Trade Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

+41 22 917 11 34
[email protected]


Assessment of the use of electronic documents based on the UN/CEFACT Multimodal Transport Reference Data Model (MMT RDM) in the execution of formalities for the registration of the arrival and departure of ships in the seaports of Ukraine

The current project focuses on reporting formalities in the seaports of Ukraine as a part of global supply chains. The crossing of multimodal transport corridors at seaports leads to the need to use the UN/CEFACT multimodal transport reference data model (MMT RDM) as a core tool for data harmonization and seamless sharing. There is also a need to link this tool with the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), national and regional regulations. The project will result in practical recommendations for the further development of digitalization of documentary procedures in Ukrainian seaports.

The objective of the project is to assess the present state of the ship-shore interaction, identify customary practices, formulate the concept of positioning of a national maritime Single Window (MSW) in regional and global multimodal transport corridors and supply chains, and then perform practical tests to prove the concept.

IMO FAL Project report

Alignment of documents used in multimodal transportation along the GUAM transport corridor with the UN/CEFACT reference data model

The objective of this project is further development of the digital transport documents that could provide seamless information flows accompanying cargo flows between countries along the GUAM transport corridor. Due to its position in the middle of the cargo transport routes between Europe and Asia, the use of UN/CEFACT standards and recommendations for cargo information sharing along this route makes much sense.

The focus of the project is on the practical application of the data models and standards to facilitate real-world transport operations that take place along this transport route. This is achieved by creating digital twins of real business documents that are mapped to the UN/CEFACT multimodal transport reference data model (MMT RDM) to ensure interoperability both in terms of changing jurisdictions and modes of transport along the route.


Alignment of documents used in multimodal transportation along the GUAM