UN / EDIFACT Standards & Messages

United Nations / Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transport (UN/EDIFACT) is the international EDI standard developed under the United Nations. The International Organization adopted EDIFACT standards for Standardization (ISO) as the ISO standard ISO 9735.

EDIFACT is a formal language within Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) format used in business-to-business transactions that include machine-readable descriptions of electronic business documents. EDIFACT messages are used by XML systems with EDIFACT standards prepared, maintained, and developed through the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) under the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

EDIFACT standards provide:

  • A set of syntax rules to structure data close to delimiter separated files
  • An interactive exchange protocol (I-EDI),
  • Standard EDIFACT messages, which allow multi-country and multi-industry exchange.

To learn more about UN / EDIFACT standards or to view EDIFACT messages by code, visit the UNECE.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) set up the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in 1947. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. The others are the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

Its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. To do so, UNECE brings together 56 countries located in the European Union, non-EU Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and North America. All these countries dialogue and cooperate under the aegis of the UNECE on economic and sectoral issues.