As some economies are gradually emerging from the lockdown, FIATA is now focusing its attention to support the industry in the transition to economic recovery. It is fundamental that FIATA supports its members to be proactive with their national regulators. The recently published FMC Final Rules on Demurrage and Detention is one example where FIATA international expertise can be used to analyze how such rules – despite being primarily US driven – can be a valuable point of reference for other jurisdictions. In addition, the national implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement will definitely be a focal point in the recovery. The FIATA Secretariat, in coordination with the chairs of its Institutes (AFI, CAI, FLI, MTI), will continue the work to enrich its COVID-19 resources in the interest of all FIATA members.
More than ever, ensuring an agile and effective organization is demanded to face the challenges that lie ahead for the logistics industry. FIATA’s new organizational structure is now fully operational with five business units based in Geneva looking after strategic priorities: implementing the FIATA digital strategy, driving international trade policy, developing professional expertise and promoting the next generation, ensuring the sustainability of the supply chain, and keeping the industry actors informed and connected. As part of the transition from Zurich to Geneva, contact details in future communication will now reflect FIATA’s office in Geneva. The Zurich mailing address remains operational for general inquiries.
FIATA’s Customs Affairs Institute (CAI) held a special virtual session last 30 June to shape the work of CAI going forward into the new era of economic recovery. Featuring special guest speaker Mr John Mein, Chair of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG), the interactive session had the participation of over 90 FIATA members from around the world. In particular, the ‘CAI in lockdown’ session enabled the active exchange of views on essential trade facilitation measures, taking lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis and considering developments in the respective national contexts
In his presentation, Mr Mein took the group through some of the concrete actions and tangible outcomes taken by the PSCG, which has continued to advocate for coordinated global approaches to trade facilitation and provide strategic input into the WCO’s workstreams. This work will continue to become ever more crucial if the world is to emerge with resilience from the global crisis, and the interactive nature of the session enabled FIATA members to input on what they are seeing around the world. CAI will relaunch its meetings online starting with its next sessions for CAI delegates on 14 and 28 July, in line with the schedule of the PSCG.
FIATA bids farewell to Mr Bassil Eid. Throughout the years, Mr Eid worked closely with the Region Africa and Middle East (RAME), Advisory Body on International Affairs (ABIA), Advisory Body on Information Technology (ABIT), Advisory Body on Safety and Security (ABSS), and Working Group on Sustainable Logistics (WGSL). FIATA thanks Mr Eid for his efforts, commitment and lively personality, and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavours. Taking over the management of the aforementioned groups is Pauline Dutertre (RAME), Lucelia Tinembart (ABIT), and Nina Eggert (WGSL, ABIA and ABSS).
As part of the FIATA digital strategy, the secretariat has started reaching out to different international organizations such as UNECE, SITA and IATA – who are running similar digital projects in their respective fields. To avoid duplications, the digital projects team benchmarked current initiatives to identify opportunities for collaboration and define where FIATA could add value. The main objective is to determine whether it is desirable to adopt existing solutions/standards and adapt them to the needs of FIATA members - with the advantage of making faster progress, or whether there is a need to build new solutions. For that purpose, FIATA will invite experts from different organizations to join the working groups dedicated to the six projects part of the digital strategy. The first working group, which will focus on defining the technical specifications of the FIATA members digital identity project, is planned to take place on 17 July 2020.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIATA has cancelled all its international meetings until further notice. Other meetings continue to take place regularly through videoconferencing systems, such as Zoom.