WCO Data Model

The WCO Data Model is a set of carefully combined data requirements that are mutually supportive and which will be updated on a regular basis to meet the procedural and legal needs of cross-border regulatory agencies such as Customs, controlling export, import and transit transactions. It is consistent with other international standards such as the United Nations Trade Data Elements Directory (UNTDED).

WCO Data Model not only includes data sets for different customs procedures but also information needed by other Cross-border Regulatory Agencies for the cross-border release and clearance at the border. The WCO Data Model supports the implementation of a Single Window as it allows the reporting of information to all government agency through the unique way it organizes regulatory information. This instrument is already 10 years old and is seeing increased use by WCO members.

The Information Management Sub-Committee of the WCO (IMSC) is responsible for the maintenance of the WCO Data Model, in order to keep the Data Model up to date with changing or new requirements in the Customs and trade environment. The Terms of Reference of the IMSC apply.

The users of the WCO Data Model include Cross-border Regulatory Agencies belonging including WCO Member administrations, members of industry and trade, international organizations concerned with trade Facilitation and data standards. The increased adoption of the WCO Data Model would benefit trade by reducing the cost of documentation and time taken in fulfilling regulatory procedures.

The WCO Data Model has the following information:

  • The context of information exchange: Business Process Models
  • The content of information exchange: Data sets and Code lists
  • The structures of information exchange: Information models
  • The technical solutions for information exchange: UN/EDIFACT and XML message design.

The WCO Data Model is managed by the Data Model Project Team (DMPT) in which participation is open to all interested parties, who may contact dm(at)wcoomd.org for more information. The DMPT, which reports to the IMSC, has established a transparent procedures and a method whereby requests for changes, deletions, and/or additions to the WCO Data Model covering the above items.