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Customs & Trade

WCO Data Model

Norms and standards are essential for trade facilitation and for modernizing Customs procedures. As international trade involves many stakeholders in different countries, with different cultures and different languages, all these stakeholders need to be able to exchange trade-related data quickly and efficiently. Having a common data model is key to achieving smooth data interchange between systems in an automated environment.

Promoting and implementing such standards are among the main missions of the ASYCUDA Programme. ASYCUDA participates in various working groups and organizations working on standardization and is particularly involved with the World Customs Organization (WCO) working group on the Data Model.

The main objective of the WCO Data Model is to define a set of standardized data usable by both Customs administrations and trade operators, for electronic data exchange within the Customs clearance process (manifest, declarations …).


Version 3 of the Data Model is the latest release. I ts main objective is to define a set of standardized data usable both by Customs administrations and by all trade operators for electronic data exchange within the Customs clearance process.

Regarding the compatibility of the ASYCUDA system with the WCO Data Model, a detailed description of the ASYCUDA database – including cargo manifest, BLA/AWB, customs declaration for import, export and suspense regimes – was submitted to WCO, which has concluded that th system complies with the WCO Data Model. The new e-documents being developed by UNCTAD in ASYCUDA, e.g. the phytosanitary certificate, will be subjected to the same compliance mechanism.

The ASYCUDA system can communicate through XML Messages with all systems that are compatible with the WCO Data Model.