Enhancing global trade efficiencies: highlights from the 68th Meeting of the DMPT

16 February 2024

The 68th Meeting of the Data Model Projects Team (DMPT) was successfully held in a hybrid format on 25 and 26 January 2024 at WCO Headquarters. This Meeting attracted significant interest, with 165 registered participants from WCO Member delegations, international organizations and the private sector. A Focus Group session was held in advance of the Meeting, from 22 to 24 January 2024, facilitating the preparatory work for in-depth discussions in the DMPT plenary session.

In his opening remarks, Pranab Kumar Das, WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation, emphasized the importance of the WCO Data Model (WCO DM) in improving international trade. He called for ongoing collaboration and innovation to adapt the WCO DM to the changing demands of global trade. The Director highlighted the need for synergy among WCO Members and external partners to enhance the WCO DM’s effectiveness in enabling efficient and secure trade. He urged participants to play an active role in the Meeting and to share their experiences in implementing the WCO DM.

The key discussions held during the Meeting included a review of Data Maintenance Requests (DMRs), with New Zealand having submitted 15 DMRs focusing on Booking Reservation Information (BRI)/Passenger Name Record (PNR) and on the WCO-Universal Postal Union (UPU) Joint Message Standards. The DMPT approved the business needs of all the DMRs and agreed to work on a modelling solution to incorporate the DMRs into the WCO DM.

The WCO Data Strategy Paper, aimed at developing a Customs data ecosystem, was reviewed to enhance its clarity and include digitalization aspects. Discussions on the revision of the WCO-UPU Joint Message Standards led to proposed updates to improve the efficiency of Customs-Postal messaging.

Significant progress was made regarding the Advance Passenger Information (API and BRI/PNR Data Model, especially in terms of the data sets covering various transport modes. The DMPT also endorsed updates to its Terms of Reference and to the WCO DM Product Management document, reflecting experts’ changing roles and responsibilities in contributing to the DMPT’s work.

Discussions on the Customs Bond dataset allowed for further enhancement of the mapping work and included presentations by the Czech Republic and Sweden, focused on digitalization and standardization efforts. The Meeting also saw updates to the e-Certificate of Origin (CO) dataset, part of an initiative to develop an interconnectivity framework for COs.

The DMPT reviewed its guidance materials, aligning the Explanatory Notes concerning the dataset document with the latest version of the WCO DM, thus ensuring that the guidance materials remain current and relevant. Members’ implementation of the My Information Package (MyIP) was discussed, focusing on the initial phase of the WCO Performance Measurement Mechanism (PMM) and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) development, and on leveraging the use of the WCO DM App’s MyIP Repository.

The alignment of the Non-Intrusive Inspection Unified File Format (NII-UFF) with the WCO DM was explored, with a view to data harmonization and interoperability. Additionally, the Meeting reviewed the DMPT Work Programme 2023-2025, acknowledging progress and endorsing future updates.

In conclusion, the WCO’s commitment to continuous improvements and collaboration in global trade was underscored at the 68th Meeting of the DMPT. In his closing remarks, Brendan O’Hearn, WCO Deputy Director of Procedures and Facilitation, celebrated the Meeting's achievements which were in keeping with the International Customs Day theme of "Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose". Indeed, the DMPT was pursuing its work with its "traditional partners" such as the UPU, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Maritime Organization (IMO), and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). What is more, consideration was being given to collaboration with new partners, such as the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) and the non-intrusive inspection (NII) industry.