FIATA-IATA Consultative Council meets in Geneva, and FIATA at ICS2 Release II and III update and drug trafficking talks!

FIATA e-flash
19 February 2024

Valentines Day this year was the occasion for the 85th meeting of the IATA-FIATA Consultative Council (IFCC) held in Geneva. The IFCC is a consultative body comprised of airline and forwarder representatives which provides recommendations and feedback to the IATA Cargo Agency Conference (CAC) on the IATA Cargo Agency Programme. 
During the meeting, FIATA and its forwarder representatives provided their feedback on many important topics, including the considerable progress already made between forwarders and airlines towards air cargo modernisation, initiated by IATA over a decade ago through the Cargo Agency Modernisation Programme (CAMP). The meeting also highlighted the steps taken since on both sides towards this shared goal through the IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Programme (IFACP) cooperation. Together, IATA and FIATA aim to facilitate and strengthen the possibility for forwarders and airlines to be able to provide their input on topics of industry concern, such as safety and security. The meeting also provided the opportunity to present the newly-appointed Cargo Agency Commissioners, Mr Marco Alvarenga and Mr Paul Cheetham. Special gratitude was expressed to the outgoing Cargo Agency Commissioner, Mr Brian Barrow, for his many years of outstanding service and support to the IFCC.

Importantly, the IFCC meeting showcased the positive evolution in the relationship between IATA and FIATA, with constructive discussions taking place on the need to modernise the current aircargo framework of the IATA Cargo Agency Programme. FIATA and its forwarder representatives to the IFCC had the opportunity to discuss its proposed way forward on the establishment of a Global Air Cargo Programme that can benefit all regions around the world, and provide more harmonised global standards that reflect commercial realities in the interests of the air cargo supply chain. 

The common interest to resume the body's work following the disruptions brought by the COVID pandemic was underlined, noting the continued evolution of the air cargo market, with topics such as eCommerce, digitalisation and safety and security very much at the forefront. A Global Air Cargo Programme is therefore more necessary than ever, which would allow the possibility for forwarders and airlines to jointly find solutions to the most pressing challenges in airfreight today. 
The FIATA Director General and the FIATA Airfreight Institute Chair will present FIATA's proposed way forward at the 51st session of the CAC on 11 March 2024, held on the occasion of the IATA World Cargo Symposium in Hong Kong. 

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FIATA joins Trans-European Coordination meeting addressing ICS2 Release II and III updates

On 7 February, FIATA attended the Trans-European Coordination meeting, which focused on Import Control System 2 (ICS2) Release II for air transport. The main takeaways reported during the meeting on Release II are highlighted below:  

  • To date, only 33 EO (economic operators), comprised of postal operators, express carriers, and house-level filers, are currently operational; 
  • There are still numerous Member States that are filing in the old ICS1 system; 
  • There are currently an average of 35 million ICS2 filings per month, with the highest volumes being in Germany, France, and Belgium. 
  • ICS2 Release I services will be stopped on 19 April 2024, which is 200 days after the last day of the ICS2 Release II deployment window date. 

Additionally, FIATA, jointly with CLECAT, conducted a survey amongst their respective memberships to assess the operational issues with Release II and the readiness and preparedness of freight forwarders for Release III, and presented them to the EU Commission. The survey results showed that freight Forwarders/EOs continue to experience the below problems with ICS2 Release II implementation: 

  1. Technical glitches associated with the central Common Repository (CR); 
  2. A lack of responsiveness and support capabilities of national ICS2 Help Desks; 
  3. Malfunctions related to formatting of Master Airway Bills (MAWB) (due to lack of standardised format). 

The following day, FIATA also joined an additional meeting focusing on Release III for maritime, road and rail transport, for which implementation is forthcoming. According to the results of FIATA and CLECAT's joint survey, 42% of freight forwarding respondents are considering using Multiple Filing for Maritime Transport (Release III). The main reasons reported are:

  1. To improve the reliability of services;
  2. To safeguard confidential business information from other parties, and;
  3. To prevent delays for customers or supply chain disruption by submitting filings at earlier point in time.

FIATA continues to raise global awareness among freight forwarders regarding the developments of ICS2 Release II and III. Further information on the ICS2 Release II meeting outcomes can be found in this presentation. For more information on ICS2 Release II and Release III, please visit the EU Commission website

 Additional Information on ICS2 Release II

FIATA takes part in international talks on collaborative solutions to tackle drug trafficking

From 13-16 February, FIATA joined the Global Workshop on Advanced Targeting for Operational Officers and Express Courier & Freight Forwarding Industry Partners, hosted by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which shed light on critical challenges facing the industry, and highlighted the importance of collaborative solutions to tackling drug trafficking. 

The event kicked off with discussions emphasising the importance of practical collaboration between the public and private sector. Participants acknowledged that technological advancements have brought new challenges, as organised crime groups increasingly exploit logistics networks. The consensus was clear: while striving for legitimate trade, it's crucial to combat the abuse of these networks by criminals. 

Experts highlighted the lack of legislation to prevent the trafficking of certain drugs, such as synthetic opioids, emphasising the inability of the international framework to keep pace with evolving drug problems. Promising developments included intelligence tools, however it was noted that at present, these remain available to governments only.

A recurring theme throughout the 3-day event was the need to foster trust and collaboration between government authorities and the private sector. Participants highlighted the importance of proactive engagement and transparent communication between all stakeholders. Notably, FIATA called for governments to use the data shared by freight forwarders responsibly, without turning it against them. FIATA has suggested the standardisation of processes in the flow of information shared throughout the supply chain, taking advantage of the secure, multimodal eFBL. 

FIATA also contributed to the drafting of a practical guidance for voluntary cooperation in the freight forwarding industry to prevent trafficking of dangerous substances, which will be shared in due course. 



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