DMPT reaffirms the importance of data for securing and facilitating the cross-border e-business environment

30 January 2018

The Data Model Projects Team (DMPT) met from 22 to 26 January 2018 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels. The meeting was attended by 60 participants from WCO Members, the private sector and international organizations. The meeting was opened by Mr. Luc De Blieck, Deputy Director in WCO’s Compliance and Facilitation Directorate.  Mr. De Blieck announced that on the last day of the meeting, i.e., Friday 26 January, International Customs Day, the WCO would launch its Theme for 2018: “A secure business environment for economic development”. He emphasized that the modern business environment could not be separated from digitization, and the work of the Projects Team was very much aligned with the Theme for 2018; the WCO DM was continuing to help Customs and other government agencies to streamline and simplify regulatory procedures and data requirements, facilitate trade and travel, and enable digital collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.

The DMPT welcomed the newly published WCO Data Model release, version 3.7.0. Furthermore, it took note of several new features and updates in the new release, including among others: simplified production of My Information Packages (MIP), using spreadsheets instead of XML; use of spreadsheets rather than Word documents to publish the model structure of Base Information Packages (BIP) and Derived Information Packages (DIP), which improves user convenience when browsing information in the Information Package; and WCO Data Model updates based on the Data Maintenance mechanism. The DMPT processed 30 Data Maintenance Requests (DMR), and approved 24. The new release of the WCO DM can be accessed from the Publications website[1].

The DMPT discussed the scope of its work for 2018 as submitted to and endorsed by the Information Management Sub Committee (IMSC), i.e., the WCO working body to which the DMPT reported, at its meeting in October 2017. Mr. Sergio Alencar (Brazil Customs) was elected by DMPT members to lead and coordinate the completion of all the tasks. The newly-elected Chair invited the DMPT to plan the execution of each task within the different Focus Groups. Four Focus Groups, namely the Business Process Modelling, Data Modelling, Implementation Support and IMO FAL Focus Groups, were reconstituted to handle the tasks.

The Delegates of Brazil, China and the Netherlands (partly on behalf of the UN/ECE) presented Data Maintenance Requests (DMR) for the updating of the WCO Data Model. The DMPT approved all of these DMRs, and the changes will be included in the next release of the WCO DM.

A side event was organized during the lunch break for newcomers to the DMPT meetings. Several experts shared their knowledge and experience on the use of UN/EDIFACT – GOVCBR (Governmental Cross Border Regulatory EDIFACT message). At this session, participants were provided with a clear insight on how to implement the WCO Data Model using the EDIFACT message format, which is currently popular in the shipping environment, as well as the benefits of doing so.

A joint session was organized between the Data Modelling and Business Process Modelling Focus Groups, to discuss data exchange between E-Commerce vendors and Customs administrations with a view to enhancing risk management and speeding up the clearance process for E-Commerce goods. The session explored a new approach to enabling the transmission of advanced E-Commerce data (namely the order, the payment and the logistics data) by different actors directly to the Customs administration. This information would facilitate the efficient processing by Customs of the millions of parcels crossing borders daily. A set of data provided by Members was examined and standardized based on the WCO DM. It was agreed that the dataset would be submitted to the Working Group on E Commerce for further standardization, specifically from the standpoints of business needs and policy.

A draft update of the WCO DM framework of conformity was prepared and discussed by the DMPT. The update of the tool was intended to clarify the criteria of conformity to the WCO Data Model. DMPT participants debated whether the conformity criteria should include criteria relating to message formats. Taking into account the complexity of the topic, the DMPT agreed to continue this discussion as part of its intersessional work.

The Modelling Focus Group continued its work by examining the Advance Passenger Information (API) data model. This data model was created to support the work of the API PNR Contact Committee in developing an XML format in addition to the existing EDIFACT PAXLST. The outcome of the work will be submitted to the IATA PAXLST Working Group meeting in April, for further feedback from the airline industry.

In cooperation with the SAFE WG, the DMPT has developed the draft concept of the Trader Identification Number (TIN). In addition to the TIN, the DMPT discussed the need to develop a Master Data structure to facilitate the transmission of AEO master data. This information could enable Customs to recognize, and remain up-to-date with, information relating to the AEOs of their Mutual Recognition Arrangement/Agreement (MRA) partners. The draft of this AEO Master dataset will be submitted to the SAFE WG for further input and feedback.

The IMOFAL Focus Group has continued its work on revising the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Facilitation (FAL) Compendium, and aims to report on progress with the work to the IMO Facilitation Committee at its 42nd Meeting in June 2018. Also, the Implementation Support Focus Group has continued its work on developing the WCO DM Guidance for non-technical users, and has proposed that the Secretariat work together with the Focus Group to update existing publications and promotional material relating to the WCO DM.

[1] WCO DM Users who do not have access to the Publications website could subscribe for access via the WCO Bookstore.