Paperless trade in the near future

UBL 2.3 has been approved as an OASIS Committee Specification

Universal Business Language (UBL) is an open library of standard electronic XML business documents for procurement and transportation.

UBL version 2.0 was approved as an OASIS Standard in 2006, version 2.1 in 2013, version 2.2 in 2018, and version 2.3 has just been approved as an OASIS Committee Specification.

The European Commission has declared UBL officially eligible for referencing in tenders from public administrations, and in 2015 the OASIS UBL 2.1 was approved as ISO/IEC 19845.

Version 2.1 is with version 2.0, but it adds 34 new document schemas, bringing the total of business document types defined by UBL to 65. Version 2.2 is compatible with version 2.1, and it adds another 16 document types for a total of 81. Version 2.3 bringsthe total number of UBL business documents to 91.

Document types can be Order, Quotation, Billing, Forwarding instructions, Delivery note, Credit note, Bill of Lading etc.

As part of the Northern European cooperation on e-commerce and e-procurement,Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK and Iceland developed a Northern European subset of UBL 2.0 documents, Northern European SubsetNES. The goal is to enable companies and institutions to implement e-commerce by agreeing to a specific profile and thus eliminate the need for bilateral implementation. The NESUBL subset was published in March 2007.

With UBL 2.3 we now have a 100% coverage of the requirements from the eFreight project and can help to revolutionize the logistics of the future. UBL 2.3 is expected to become an ISO standard during the year.

The document types that Clearview Trade has worked to include in the standard are:

  • Goods Item Passport used for ATA carnet
  • Goods Certificate, commodity certificates, e.g. for fish, medicine or dangerous goods
  • Manifesto used for reporting to public authorities
  • Common Transportation Report used e.g. for reporting to ports or airport authorities before arrival or departure
  • Export Customs Declaration, used for notification of export of goods
  • Import Customs Declaration, used to notify import of goods
  • Transit Customs Declaration used for notification of transit of goods

Trade is still characterized by huge paperwork, and a lot of delays in product deliveries. ClearView Trade is helping to develop these open standards and is thus a part of a future paperless trade world.

More information about UBL