Key Trade Documents and Data Elements (KTDDE)

Trade documents are the building blocks of global supply chains today: they articulate key terms of transactions or events occurring between two or more parties along the supply chain. The KTDDE Working Group within the Industry Advisory Board of the Digital Standards Initiative (DSI) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) was established to treat all key trade documents to simplify standards and align and converge industry practices on trade digitalisation at any given point along the supply chain.

How to use these pages

The Trade Documents are those identified within the Cross Border Paperless Trade Toolkit. Select a Document to see its analysis and core data.

Each document is a collection of Data Elements, which are defined in the Key Trade Data Glossary below. Select a data element within the glossary to see its usage within trade documents.

Understanding data sharing within the supply chain is the first step towards validating and securing key data with the aim of visibility and traceability.


    A - Commercial Processes
    B - Transport Processes
    C - Border and Regulatory Processes
    D - Financial Processes
    Parties, addresses, places, countries
    Clauses, conditions, instructions
    Amounts, charges, percentages
    Measure, Quantities
    Dangerous Goods
    Transport modes, means and equipments


    The DSI KTDDE working group analysed 36 trade documents. The data glossary is based on the analysis of these trade documents, except 3 of them: CODEX Generic Model Official Certificate, Phytosanitary certificate, International Veterinary Certificates. The data glossary comprises the following information:

    • Data element short name
    • UID, unique identification number of the data element specified in the United Nations Trade Data Elements Directory (UNTDED), also known as ISO 7372. Data elements that are required but not present in UNTDED/ISO 7372 are assigned a code starting with the first digit of the data category, a letter and followed by 2 digits.
    • Description is the description of the data element in the UNTDED. For data elements not available in UNTDED/ISO 7372, a description is proposed.
    • The next 33 columns are headed by abbreviations of the 33 documents
      • M indicates that the data element is Mandatory in this document
      • O indicates that the data element is Optional in this document
      • C indicates that the data element is Conditional in this document

    The data is sorted by category and by UID.

    It is important to note that the intent is to highlight conceptually key data elements that are used across the documents, not to create a complete data dictionary that could be used to generate comprehensive electronic messages.



    The main reference used for developing this data glossary is the United Nations Trade Data Element Directory (UNTDED), also known as ISO 7372. It is available here:

    Other standards have been considered. Some definitions are more detailed in other standards compared to the UNTDED. However, the working group didn’t identify any major differences that might create an obstacle to digitalisation. These other standards include the following:

    The data glossary is not a standard. Its aim is to identify the key data elements used in a set of key trade documents.



    Download the Complete KTDDE Data Glossary here.