Trade facilitation and digitalisation lead the way!

FIATA e-flash
26 July 2023

Are you ready for the 2023 FIATA RAME Field Meeting in Uganda?

FIATA and the Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA) are thrilled to host you at the upcoming FIATA RAME Field Meeting in Kampala, Uganda, from 1-3 August at the Speke Resort, under the title '“Resilience, Adaptability and Diversity in Global Supply Chains”. 

Delegates can register here by latest 28 July.

The FIATA Field Meetings are an excellent opportunity to foster closer relations between logistics stakeholders in the region and harness best practices. In this spirit, FIATA reminds Association Members that the deadline for bids to host subsequent FIATA-RAP Field Meetings ends on 17 July. Kindly send your bids to [email protected]. Finalists amongst the bidding RAME Associations Members will be selected at the upcoming Field Meeting. It should be noted that the selection of short-listed candidates will be limited to those from the sub-region which did not host the 2023 Field Meeting.

FIATA looks forward to your participation in Kampala, where you can make yourself heard and shape the future of FIATA!

Geneva/China (City), 14 July - FIATA and CIFA Join Forces to Enhance Cooperation and Networking

After several years of discussion by the FIATA Presidency, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the Chinese International Freight Forwarding Association (CIFA) signed at the beginning of July in Beijing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework for collaboration on a FIATA Global Networking platform and a Regional CIFA Events and Networking platform. The collaboration will enable both parties to benefit from the common activities of their respective digital strategies. In the MoU, the two have identified mutual goals of business and professional relationship growth between their respective members, as well as enhanced digital transformation by enabling FIATA's Digital FBL to be implemented on the Chinese market for all members.

Under the MoU, FIATA and CIFA will provide additional benefits for members of FIATA Association Members and FIATA Individual Members who have a FIATA Digital Identity. This collaboration will leverage the FIATA global networking platform and extend it regionally through the Regional CIFA Events and Networking platform, available in both Chinese and English languages. The platforms will serve as vital hubs for fostering connections, sharing knowledge, and promoting collaboration among industry professionals.

"We are thrilled to embark on this collaborative journey with FIATA," said Li Zhimin, Secretary General of CIFA. "This partnership will amplify networking opportunities and facilitate business growth for our members. By leveraging our respective platforms and digital strategies, we aim to create a dynamic ecosystem that drives innovation and nurtures fruitful collaborations within the freight forwarding industry."

Stéphane Graber, FIATA Director General added, "This MoU signifies a new chapter of cooperation between FIATA and CIFA. By combining our expertise and resources, we can elevate the industry's digital transformation and provide our members with valuable tools and platforms for success. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration and to opening new opportunities to the freight forwarding community as a whole."

UNCTAD Multi-Year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logstics and Trade Facilitation

On 18 July, FIATA took part in one of the panels of the 10th session of the UNCTAD Multi-Year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation taking place from 17-19 July 2023. This event aimed at discussing important issues, learn from successful practices, provide recommendations for the future, identify priority areas for action, particularly for countries facing challenges like being least developed, landlocked, or small islands, and determine the roles of key participants such as government, industry, public and private sectors, development partners, and financial institutions. 

In the session Trade Facilitation and Coordination, FIATA discussed one of its latest publications Empowering Trade Facilitation: Guidance on the Implementation of the WTO-TFA. FIATA shared the results of its study on its members' involvement with their respective National Committees for Trade Facilitation (NTFC), emphasising the need for strong collaboration between the public and private sectors, specifically the logistics industry, to exchange valuable on-the-ground information. 

The panel provided valuable insights into the implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in different economies since its enforcement in 2017. It highlighted various challenges ahead, such as the digitalisation of trade facilitation processes, regional nuances, and the obstacles faced in small-scale cross-border trade (SSCBT). The forum served as a remarkable platform to learn from economies actively implementing the TFA and contributing to the effective functioning of their NTFCs. 

FIATA will continue to proactively engage with its members on the topic through knowledge sharing and collaborative efforts to continually improve trade facilitation processes. For any questions, please contact [email protected]

Celebrating Success: Revalidation of FIATA Diploma Training Programmes!

With the 53rd validation/revalidation session coming to an end, FIATA warmly congratulates the below 9 Association Members on the successful revalidation of their FIATA Diploma training programmes! This achievement showcases their unwavering commitment to excellence in the logistics industry. 

FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding 

  • Association of International Freight Forwarders of Ukraine - AIFFU           
  • Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders – GIFF 
  • International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia – IFCBAA 
  • International Ocean Freight Forwarders & Logistics Association, Taiwan – IOFFLAT 
  • National Association of Freight Forwarders of Georgia – AFG 
  • Polish International Freight Forwarders Association – PIFFA 
  • Taipei Airfreight Forwarders & Logistics Association of Taiwan – TAFLA 
  • Union des Entreprises de Transport et Logistique de France - TLF 

FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management 

  • Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association - PIFFA 

Training has a pivotal role and FIATA continues to leverage continuous professional development to shape the future of logistics. By upholding the standards of the FIATA Diploma, FIATA Association Members demonstrate a dedication to staying at the forefront of industry best practices and contributing to the growth and success of the global logistics sector. 

FIATA prioritises the professional development of logistics actors and remains committed to providing exceptional training opportunities and resources to support your journey towards continued success. 

Interested in joining the FIATA Training adventure? Get in touch at [email protected]

UNCITRAL's 56th Session: Ongoing work to facilitate transport documents and support climate change mitigation

On 17-19 July 2023, FIATA attended the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Among other topics, the Commission discussed the progress made by UNCITRAL's Working Group VI towards an international instrument on negotiable multimodal transport documents. The need to ensure coordination with other relevant instruments, such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferrable Records (MLETR), was also considered. The Commission expressed its appreciation to FIATA's longstanding support on this work, noting that FIATA has been actively participating in Working Group VI and the previous preparatory work that took place within the auspices of a dedicated expert group, drawing on its extensive expertise wih the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading (FBL).

The Commission further considered the importance of conducting further consultations on the topic of climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience, including, as a first step, a mapping of legal issues related to voluntary carbon credits in cooperation with relevant international organisations. The results of that mapping exercise are expected to be presented at UNCITRAL's 57th session.

Finally, FIATA welcomed the discussions that took place on the topic of warehouse receipts, following finalisation of a preliminary draft model law between UNCITRAL and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). The current draft is intended to deal with the private law aspects of warehouse receipts, including electronic and paper forms, and negotiable and non-negotiable records. Consideration was given to the need for greater harmonisation and alignment in the legal regimes governing warehouse receipts given the current variations in treatment. The topic has been assigned to UNCITRAL's Working Group I for further work, and FIATA will look to contribute its expertise, leveraging the FIATA Warehouse Receipt.

FIATA will continue to support the work of UNCITRAL on these important topics, leveraging the expertise of its Advisory Body Legal Matters (ABLM) and its longstanding experience with the FBL and Digital FBL, and other FIATA documents such as the FIATA Warehouse Receipt. For further information, or if you would be willing to share your experience with using the FBL in multimodal or intermodal transport, please get in touch with [email protected].

The UK Electronic Trade Documents Act becomes law! 

FIATA is pleased to welcome the United Kingdom's new Electronic Trade Documents Act, which officially became law last week having received the Royal Assent. The Act, which will enable an electronic trade document such as a bill of lading to be used in the same way as its paper counterpart subject to certain requirements, is an important development towards the facilitation of digital trade and is expected to have significant impacts for the future of global trade.

FIATA continues to work to support the freight forwarding and logistics industry to optimise their business operations through digitalisation through a multi-stakeholder appoach, including the Digital FIATA Bill of Lading. FIATA encourages governments to ensure appropriate frameworks are in place to facilitate legal/technical interoperabilty, and remains committed to promoting adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferrable Records (MLETR). 

Further information on the UK Electronic Trade Documents Act can be found in the UK government press release here.