Bringing the systems and experiences of many cultures to the table, the EDIFACT board includes EDI professionals and programmers from five regional subcommittees: Asia/Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Pan-America, working together to develop the EDIFACT syntax.
The development of EDIFACT messages occurs in three stages before final approval by a subcommittee of the United Nations:
Six EDIFACT messages have currently reached Status 2: payment orders, extended payment orders, credit advices, extended credit advices, debit advices, and remittance advices.
Not available through ANSI X12 systems, the EDIFACT messages for letters of credit may eventually replace the proprietary systems of individual banks sending letters of credit messages in diverse formats.
At a recent joint EDIFACT board meeting in Oslo, Norway, a resolution was approved to move to four comprehensive messages that would replace the currently diverse range of 30 to 40 financial transaction messages previously planned.
Unfortunately, EDIFACT does not yet enjoy the global acceptance it was meant to achieve.