Esta página no está disponible en el idioma seleccionado Spanish : Español y la proponemos por consiguiente en English : English.

The WCO TEG-NII adopts a governance mechanism for the Unified File Format

07 noviembre 2022

The WCO Technical Experts Group on Non-Intrusive Inspection (TEG-NII) held its 9th Meeting on 3 and 4 November 2022 in a hybrid format. The Meeting gathered, both online and at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, more than 230 participants from 66 Member Customs administrations and 6 NII vendors, thus setting a new record for the Group in terms of number of participants.

In his opening remarks, the WCO Director for Compliance and Facilitation, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, highlighted the pertinence of the TEG-NII in supporting Members in the Technology and Innovation area of work, which is also one of the three focus areas of the WCO for financial year 2022-2023. The work of the TEG-NII is of relevance also in the context of the efforts undertaken by the WCO and its Members under the theme of the year: “Scaling up Customs digital transformation by embracing a data culture and building a data ecosystem”. While noting certain delays, the Director expressed his hope that the TEG-NII can regain momentum in the implementation of Phase 3 of the UFF Development Programme and implement in full the mandate of the Group in view of enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations in the NII domain.

The TEG-NII discussions centered around two main topics – the Unified File Format (UFF) Development Programme and other NII-related matters.

To kick-start its work, the TEG-NII had an open discussion on various aspects related to the deployment of UFF 2.0 and provided guidance in that regard. Then the Group discussed and endorsed a UFF Maintenance Procedure that is largely based on the WCO Data Model Maintenance Procedure. This new UFF governance document describes the procedures for processing UFF maintenance requests and specifies three types of UFF releases: i) major releases; ii) medium releases that are expected every two years; and iii) minor releases to reflect minor changes to the UFF standard. The UFF Maintenance Procedure has already been published on the WCO website. 

Furthermore, the TEG-NII endorsed the proposal to establish a UFF Maintenance Virtual Steering Group to implement the UFF Maintenance Procedure. The virtual steering group will consist of six standing members from WCO Member Customs administrations and one representative of each NII industry member that is a member of the TEG-NII. The UFF Maintenance Virtual Steering Group will be chaired by the two co-chairpersons of the TEG-NII. Following this decision of the TEG-NII, the Secretariat will write to the six vice-chairpersons of the Council to invite them to nominate the six standing members of the UFF Maintenance Virtual Steering Group.

The TEG-NII took note of the intersessional developments under Phase 3 of the UFF Development Programme and discussed the possible expansion of the UFF Development Team with new NII industry members.

In line with the WCO Data Strategy timetable, the TEG-NII discussed various practical aspects of the sharing of X-ray/CT images, shared relevant information on national circumstances and experiences, and provided guidance on the way forward. An oral report on these discussions will be delivered to the 1st Meeting of the WCO Working Group on Data and Statistics on 10 November 2022.

Based on presentations by Brazil, China, Rapiscan Systems AS&E, the European Union and the Netherlands, the TEG-NII discussed various NII-related matters such as the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the NII domain, approaches to funding NII capabilities, as well as cyber security for NII systems and the challenges of connecting equipment. When discussing the various aspects of developing AI algorithms, the TEG-NII once again underscored the importance of data sharing.

Last, the TEG-NII endorsed its Work Programme for the period 1 July 2022 – 30 June 2025.