FIATA presents global CMR variations ¦ Director General at key Chinese forum, and more!

FIATA e-flash
6 November 2023

FIATA presents differences in use of CMRs between global regions at UNECE Working Party on Road, Geneva

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Group of Experts on eCMR recently concluded its mandate and reported to the (SC.1) Working Party on Road Transport during its 118th session in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Mr Mark Bromley, the FIATA Multimodal Transport Institute (MTI) Chair, has been representing FIATA at the Group of Experts which met six times during the course of 2022 and 2023. The Group of Experts’ main focus has been on the requirements of Article 5 of the eCMR Additional Protocol to the CMR Convention (the Convention for the International Carriage of Goods by Road), to consider the implementation of electronic CMR transport documents, including the scope, high-level architecture, and conceptual specifications for a future digital environment.

During the meeting, Mr Bromley delivered a presentation on the variations in CMR usage across regions to SC.1. The Group acknowledged the work done so far and the effort made by experts to prepare the draft conceptual and functional specifications of the future eCMR system. Pursuant to a recommendation by the Group of Experts, the SC.1 has approved a two-year extension of the Group’s mandate to complete tasks and finalise specifications, with a view to reporting back to the SC.1 in September 2025. 

FIATA continues to support this initiative as part of its work towards the digitalisation of transport documents and data exchange across the supply chain to ensure greater cost and time efficiency, as well as strengthened security in the supply chain. FIATA’s participation in the Group of Experts, through the expertise of its MTI Chair, ensures the crucial representation of freight forwarders in these discussions, so that practical and inclusive industry solutions can be found for the successful implementation of the eCMR.

FIATA promotes multimodal electronic bills of lading at the heart of China's logistics hub during Chongqing 2023 Forum on New Land-Sea Trade Corridor

Last week, together with CIFA, the Chinese International Freight Forwarders Association, FIATA took part in the 2023 Chongqing Forum on economic development along the new international land-sea trade corridor (LSTC).

This new corridor is expected to strengthen connectivity and improve trade with Southeast Asian countries, while accelerating the development of China's southwestern regions. Chongqing, which enjoys special status in China, is a hub of this logistics architecture, and is promoted and prioritised by the Chinese central government and its president, Xi Jiping. The China-Europe Rail Express and the new international land-sea trade corridor further connect the entire southwest chinese region, Chongqing, Chengdu (Sishuan) and Kunming (Yunnan) and ASEAN countries to the "Belt and Road" initiative, opening up new growth prospects for Chinese foreign trade and international investment.

To date, the NLSTC connects 473 ports in 120 countries and regions around the world. The Chongqing, Xinjiang-Europe express train has made over 14,000 journeys. As the Global Times reported in a recent article, in 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chongqing carried 53,000 standard containers to ASEAN countries via the corridor, up to a 20% jump year-on-year. Last year, Chongqing also saw its foreign trade with ASEAN countries reach 173 billion USD.

FIATA Director General, Dr Stéphane Graber, was honored to be among the main speakers at the 2023 Forum on Economic Development Along New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor to deliver a key note speech and share of FIATA's recommendations on the implementation of the FIATA Multimodal Bill of Lading Standard for the NLSTC.

For more than 50 years, FIATA has attempted to establish a standard Multimodal Bill of Lading, a unique negotiable multimodal bill of Lading, used by freight forwarders. Today’s FIATA is leading the digitalisation of this standard document and collaborates with numerous organisations and institutions to promote its use and ensure full interoperability.

The importance of training and cultivating multimodal talent for the LSTC was also highlighted, with FIATA providing an internationally recognised Diploma in Freight Forwarding, and a Higher diploma in Supply Chain through its Association member in China, CIFA. In addition, the commitment of FIATA to support the development and efficiency of new sustainable corridors, and regional cooperation on multimodal corridors, and the NLSTC, was shared.

FIATA at Chongqing 2023 New Land-Sea Trade Corridor Expo

FIATA and CIFA were also present at the NLSTC exhibition organised in parallel with the forum by the Chongqing authorities, with a large stand introducing FIATA to the Chinese logistics community visiting the exhibition and helping to raise the profile of the FIATA brand in China.

Chongqing's highest-level authorities visited the FIATA stand, guided by FIATA's Director General. FIATA took advantage of its participation to exchange views with Hu Henghua, Deputy Secretary of the Chongqing CCP Municipal Committee and Mayor of Chongqing Municipal Government, as well as with Wang Lingjun, Vice Minister of the People's Republic of China General Administration of Customs, and many other officials attending this key event.

FIATA has also established strong relations with the authorities of Jiangjin and Yongchuan, two districts of Chongqing that are important multimodal logistics centers with a comprehensive bonded zone. FIATA is pleased to introduce its members who wish to benefit from this new development and launch projects in Chongqing, to the respective contact persons. Please contact FIATA [email protected] for more information!

FIATA would particularly like to thank CIFA and Secretary General Li Zhimin, Ms Zhao and Mr Fang, for their great support of FIATA in China. Many thanks also go to the Chongqing Port and Logistics Association and its General Secretary, Mr Jiang Xiaobing, as well as to Ms Li Shuqiu for their great support throughout the week.

FIATA Non-tariff measures article answers your questions!

Non-tariff measures (NTMs) and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) play a pivotal role in the logistics industry for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, understanding and effectively managing these measures are essential for logistics professionals to ensure the smooth flow of goods across international borders. NTMs, often in the form of regulatory standards and compliance requirements, directly impact the packaging, labelling, and documentation of goods, necessitating meticulous attention from logistics providers. Failure to comply with these measures can result in delays, fines, or even confiscation of goods, leading to financial losses and damage to a company's reputation. 

Moreover, NTBs, such as import quotas and licensing requirements, influence the volume and types of goods that can be traded between countries. Logistics companies must navigate these barriers strategically, optimising routes and transportation modes to align with the varying restrictions in different regions. By following the development of NTMs and NTBs, logistics professionals can offer advisory services to businesses, helping them in market strategies and ensuring that their products reach customers efficiently and in compliance with international regulations. Against this background, FIATA, under the umbrella of the Advisory Body on International Affairs (ABIA) has developed a live document in the form of a quick guide listing the available NTMs/NTBs.  

FIATA encourages its members to make use of this tool to better anticipate any trade issues. The article is available on the FIATA website here.  

2023 Market Place Seminar: Reserve your seat now!

In just a few weeks, FIATA and the UIC (International Union of Railways) will unite freight forwarders from around the Eurasia region and beyond, in a two-day conference dedicated to Asia-Europe transport corridors. The conference, which will take place from 20-21 November in Istanbul is set to be an excellent opportunity to network, share business perspectives on the Middle and South Corridors, and learn more about how the FIATA and UIC global networks can bring tangible solutions to business challenges in the region.


During the four dedicated sessions, speakers from highly respected organisations and companies will provide their outlooks:

  • World Bank 
  • International Transport Forum (ITF)
  • Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Türkiye
  • TCDD Taşımacılık 
  • Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF)
  • International Association of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR)
  • DB Cargo Eurasia 
  • Sinotrans Limited and many more. 

Do not miss this opportunity and register here!

Are you interested in contributing to the next FIATA Quarterly Legal Newsletter, 'FIATA Focus'? Read on!

FIATA is grateful for the large network of legal experts it has amongst its membership, and thanks to this network, it is able to provide the hottest topics and expertise from around the world four times a year, to keep its members up to date and informed on latest legal developments in the sector.

Do you have something to share on new laws, legal implications, or relevant case law developments? It is envisaged that the newsletter will improve business capabilities, knowledge sharing, and strengthen Association Members’ capacity to leverage developments around the world in their own legal and advocacy work, drawing from lessons learned in other jurisdictions.

The fourth issue of the FIATA Quarterly Legal Newsletter will have a focus on ‘How to leverage regional trade agreements for greater trade facilitation’. With this fourth issue, FIATA is looking forward to receiving worldwide input on how existing and developing regional trade agreements impact trade facilitation and how such agreements could be improved to achieve even greater trade facilitation. However, any legal topic contributions can be considered, and will certainly enter the consideration process for other future issues.


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