On publishing English-Russian Glossary of trade facilitation terms
The idea to create this English-Russian Glossary of trade facilitation terms appeared in June 2006, at a seminar organized by the UNECE in Chisinau on WTO negotiations on trade facilitation, where UNECE received a request to prepare a glossary, in order to clarify the use of Russian terms related to trade facilitation.
The first edition of the Glossary was developed in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, and envisaged the possibility of subsequent editions, incorporating changes suggested by users. The accession of the Russian Federation to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention, RKC) in 2010, accompanied by its official translation into Russian, led to the necessity of revising the Glossary.
The second edition was thus prepared in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Commission of the Customs Union of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The first edition enjoyed the support of such unexpected users as Swedish Customs officers at various border-crossing points, who use this Glossary as a communication tool with Russian-speaking transporters of goods. We hope that the second edition will enjoy similar interest among the potential users.
Three years have passed since the Glossary was first issued. During this period, as we expected already in 2008, the users of the first edition sent us their comments on the contents of the Glossary (most of them related to the translation of the Revised Kyoto Convention). We have taken these comments into account in preparing this second edition together with the Secretariat of the Commission of the Customs Union of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.
During the preparation of the Glossary, it became clear that in many cases multiple terms and expressions were used in the Russian language to denote a single established term in English. Sometimes there was no Russian equivalent at all.
For example, at least three different terms are used in Russian to express the concept of “trade facilitation”:
(a) „упрощение процедур торговли“ (simplification of trade procedures) – a term that has acquired broad use in UNECE and in various circles dealing with trade facilitation. It has become the established United Nations term in Russian, but has a much narrower meaning than the generally accepted definition of trade facilitation as the simplification, harmonization, standardization (alignment with international standards), and automation of trade procedures, which makes the movement of goods and supporting information faster and more reliable;
(b) „содействие торговле“, is another term in use4, but practically it means a different thing, namely “trade promotion”. Many technical assistance projects in Central Asia and the Caucasus have selected this term in spite of the confusion that this creates;
(c) „облегчение торговли“ (or „облегчение условий торговли“) is the only literal translation, but sounds inappropriate in Russian, and was not adopted by the United Nations translators in the past probably for this reason. The term is still in use, however, in various official documents in the Russian Federation.
Notably, this is the term mentioned on the official website of the President.
The Clossary is available though: http://www.tsouz.ru/Docs/kodeks/Documents/Glossary%202011.pdf