EDIFACT, short for Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), is an international EDI standard supervised by the United Nations. This standard offers a set of syntax rules to structure data, an interactive exchange protocol (I-EDI), and standard messages that support multi-country and multi-industry exchange. The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) under the UN Economic Commission for Europe manages the maintenance and further development of this standard in the Finance Domain working group UN CEFACT TBG5.
EDIFACT messages play a vital role in ensuring a standardized data exchange and information flow between shipping lines and terminals/ports in the shipping and terminal industry. The efficiency of a terminal depends on receiving timely information about the cargo/containers to be handled. To ensure a minimum data quality and the ability to automatically process messages, the messages follow specific standardized formats.