FIATA increases its international profile in December and welcomes new CAI and REU Vice Chairs!

FIATA e-flash
21 December 2022

FIATA welcomes new CAI and REU Vice-Chairs!

FIATA would like to congratulate Mr Samir J. Shah and Mr Tomas Arvidsson for their election as Customs Affairs Institute (CAI) and Region Europe (REU) Vice Chairs, respectively.

Mr Shah is a Past Chair and Advisor to FFFAI - Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India and Managing Committee Member of ACAAI – Air Cargo Agents Association of India. He has been a Licensed Customs Broker in India since 1984 with extensive work experience in customs. He has contributed to the local customs authorities on various matters including implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in India, and is an author of books on Customs Clearance and Freight Forwarding in India. 
Samir J. Shah has been an active CAI delegate for the past few years and will support CAI Chair Steve Parker in his new role.

Mr Arvidsson is Vice Chair of the CLECAT Rail Logistics Institute, and is also Chair of the Railway, and Contingency and Defense Committees of the Swedish International Freight Association (SIFA). He is a Senior Advisor in Rail Logistics at RailLog and has been advising in the transport sector for 10 years. Tomas Arvidsson will support REU Chair Antonella Straulino on Region Europe matters.

The official terms and titles in their capacity will commence upon confirmation at the General Meeting 2023, and in the interim time both Vice-Chairs can start to conduct work. We welcome both in their new roles and look forward to a successful journey with both.

Industry stakeholders share FIATA's views on trade facilitation, digitalisation and e-Commerce at WTO Agri-Food Business Day

On 8 December, Trade Facilitation was in the spotlight at the WTO in an Agri-Food Business Day panel on ‘Trade Facilitation, Digitalisation and e-Commerce’. FIATA Director General Stéphane Graber was pleased to present how digitalisation can help achieve the goals of trade facilitation, while increasing access to food and food security. As UNCTAD’s recent findings highlight, the increased cost of grain and its transport would lead to a 1.6% increase in prices for the end consumer.  It was recalled that digitalisation and adoption of e-bills of lading can save up to 6.5 billon USD in direct costs while ensuring a better flow of goods.

The ICC Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation panelist, Valerie Picard, and FIATA, agreed that we do not need to develop new tools for enhancing trade facilitation but focus first on full implementation of existing trade facilitation tools such as AEO schemes, NTFCs and single windows. FIATA reiterated the importance of achieving certainty on competition, a concern shared by the panelist from North American Export Grain Association. The agricultural exporters in America were instrumental in seeking the changes brought about by the US Ocean Shipping Reform Act, 2022. FIATA welcomes this initiative which guarantees access to vessel space, which is crucial for the timely transport of perishables and food grains.  

For more information on the event, click here.

FIATA meets with South American associations for presentation of FIATA priorities and eFBL

On 7 December, FIATA Director General Stéphane Graber participated in a panel on the role of the private sector in strengthening AEO programmes at the XXIII FITAC Internacional Congreso in Colombia, with the participation of ASAPRA (Asociación Internacional De Agentes Profesionales De Aduana) and AIOEAAL (Asociación Internacional de Operadores Económicos Autorizados, Aduaneros y Logísticos).

FIATA is looking forward to continuing to advocate for accessible AEO programmes that offer comprehensive benefits to businesses of all sizes. AEO programmes are an excellent opportunity to foster dialogue and cooperation between customs and economic operators in the interest of greater trade facilitation and a more secure supply chain. 

Shortly after, on 9 December, FIATA President Ivan Petrov and Director General Stéphane Graber were accompanied by the President and the Director General of ALOG (Asociación Logística - Chile), Neil Taylor Montgomery and Cynthia Perišić Ivandić, at a meeting with the Colombian customs authorities to define a way forward for the acceptance of the FIATA eFBL by the customs authority. 

While there is still a lot of work to be done, such positive and constructive meetings allow to move forward to the digitalisation of the supply chain and confirm the leadership of FIATA in the digitalisation of multimodal transport documents.

Participate in U.S. Customs and Border Protection electronic unique entity identifier transmission test!

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is conducting a National Customs Automation Program test regarding the electronic transmission of certain unique entity identifiers through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The “Global Business Identifier Evaluative Proof of Concept” (GBI EPoC) is open for volunteers, regularly exporting to the US, to participate in the POC.

Test participants will voluntarily provide specific global business identifiers (GBIs) for the manufacturers, sellers, and shippers of merchandise covered by specified types of entries, which are limited for purposes of this test to certain commodities and countries of origin. Test participants may also optionally provide specific GBIs for exporters, distributors, and packagers associated with the covered entries. The test will permit CBP and certain Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) to access the underlying data associated with the GBIs (referred to as the “GBI data”), to determine whether the submission of GBIs at the time of entry filing will enable the enhanced tracing of the supply chains of certain commodities. 

The GBI EPoC will commence on December 19, 2022, and will continue until July 21, 2023, subject to any extension, modification, or early termination as announced in the Federal Register. CBP began to accept requests from importers of records and licensed customs brokers to participate in the test on December 2, 2022, and CBP will continue to accept such requests until the GBI EPoC concludes. 

More information here.  

Interested parties should email theGBI Inbox (please read specific conditions on the website).

Trans-European Coordination Meeting on ICS2 Release 2: What to remember? 

The European Commission's DG TAXUD held a trans-European coordination meeting on 12th December to discuss the Advanced Cargo Information (Air Cargo) Import Control System 2 (ICS2) Release 2. The meeting was jointly held with ICS2 National Project Managers of EU Member States, Switzerland and Norway, and representatives of the other affected by ICS2 Release 2 Trade Associations and Economic Operators.

FIATA was invited to update DG TAXUD on the readiness of its industry when it comes to the implementation of ICS2 Release 2. Based on the latest ICS2 survey launched, FIATA ICS2 Release 2 representative and Advisory Body Safety and Security Delegate, Mr Serkan Eren, shared the results with the participants conveying that additional information should be regularly shared on the topic, and that more training/webinars are needed by freight forwarders, including for a non-EU audience. For Economic Operators wishing to learn more and do self-learning can access it by clicking here

FIATA will continuously provide the latest updates on the implementation of ICS2 Release 2, starting from March 2023. For more information, contact us at [email protected].

UNECE Trans-Caspian meeting in cooperation with FIATA

On 16 December, the UNECE held a meeting of the ECO\UNECE Coordination Committee on the Trans-Caspian and Almaty-Istanbul Corridors organised in cooperation with FIATA. The session “Potential for further diversification of multimodal inland transport routes between Asia and Europe”, was moderated by FIATA's Andrea Tang, Head of International Trade and Law Unit. FIATA thanks the below representatives who participated on behalf of FIATA and presented the freight forwarding perspective.

Mark Bromley (FIATA MTI (Multimodal Transport Institute) Chair) acknowledged the greater interest in the Trans-Caspian corridor, but also noted the current delays on the route, as well as difficulties to fully digitalise transport documents in the region due to a heavy reliance on paper documents.  

Farid Saffarzadeh (Bar Baran Iranian International Forwarders and Shipping Agency) gave an overview on the various transport routes and corridors in the region, the role of Iran, and the interest in the Trans-Caspian corridor.  

Yelena Vassilevskaya (Kazakhstan Freight Forwarders Association) shared the growing interest in using multimodal routes passing through the Caspian Sea by the freight forwarders. However, she noted the complexities involved due to more transshipments, requirements for various transport documents, difficulties calculating the transport tariff, and unpredictability of delivery times. She recommended greater information sharing to the industry, optimisation of existing tools such as the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading (FBL), and the conduct of in-depth studies to identify bottlenecks and develop recommendations.  

Ole Andreas Hagen (FIATA WG Rail Chair) presented the activities of WG Rail in relation to rail corridors around the world and noted the potential of the secured digital FBL to promote digitisation and facilitate cross-border trade in the region.

As a conclusion to the session, all agreed that cooperation between industry and governments is crucial to the project’s success. It was suggested to conduct an analysis to identify bottlenecks, barriers, and develop specific recommendations to use the Trans-Caspian Corridor as well as to facilitate the use of the FBL and CIM/SMGS. The UNECE and FIATA will also consider possible ways to foster greater information sharing to the industry. 

FIATA's Multimodal Transport Institute will monitor the development of this corridor to support the members in this regard and continue to work closely with the UNECE and other stakeholders.

Positive changes in detention and demurrage billing practices

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) recently conducted a public consultation on its proposed rulemaking on detention and demurrage billing practices. In FIATA’s response to the consultation, it welcomed the positive developments in this proposed rulemaking which include clarity of information contained in invoices, and proposals to set clear timeframes within which charges should be billed or contested if mitigation is sought. FIATA noted the importance of non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and multimodal transport operators (MTOs) being given the same timeframe of 30 days to add, contest or pass on any detention and demurrage-related charges, as is the case for vessel operating common carriers (VOCCs). FIATA also welcomed the FMC’s effort to clarify which parties may be billed for demurrage and detention charges. FIATA highlighted the importance of forwarders, customs brokers or any MTO, being able to pay the invoice if instructed by their client, the billed party, while not remaining directly accountable to the VOCCs.
FIATA Working Group Sea will continue to monitor these developments in 2023, where this topic will be discussed. Public comments submitted to the consultation, including FIATA’s, are available here.


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