UN/CEFACT Recommendation 16 UN/LOCODE Code for ports and other locations
The identification of a particular location is frequently required in information interchange in international trade and transport, to direct the movement of goods - e.g. in addresses, in shipping marks, and in data elements identifying ports of call, ports or places of loading or unloading, ports or places of transhipment and destination, places of clearance by Customs, etc.
The names of such locations are often spelt in different ways and sometimes the same location is given different names in different languages (e.g. LIVORNO - LIBOURNE - LEGHORN; LONDON - LONDRES - LONDRA; WARSAW - VARSOVIE - WARSZAWA - WARSCHAU), which creates confusion and difficulties in data interchange. The identification in a unique and unambiguous way of any place involved in international trade is therefore an essential element for the facilitation of trade procedures and documentation. This Recommendation use of the five-character code system (LOCODE) for purposes of trade to designate locations whenever there is a need for a coded representation for the names of ports, airports, inland clearance depots, inland freight terminals and other transport related locations, such as places of receipt and delivery, which are used for goods movements associated with trade (for example locations where Customs clearance of goods can take place), otherwise proposed by Governments. The recommendation includes a manual as its annex on how to structure and maintain LOCODE. Harmonized LOCODE is regularly published at: http://www.unece.org/cefact/locode/service/location.html