FIATA continues to advocate for trade facilitation policies that are fit for all stakeholders of all sizes in the supply chain, for the effective recovery of international trade. To this end, FIATA is actively working with the World Customs Organization (WCO) on the WCO Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) validation and implementation guidance as part of the SAFE Framework review. This work seeks to facilitate the successful implementation and mutual recognition of AEO programmes around the world, and ensure that companies are able to reap the intended benefits of AEO status.
In January 2021, FIATA submitted its comments to the WCO following consultation with its Customs Affairs Institute. It has since been involved in discussions within the SAFE Working Group on these proposals. In addition, FIATA has continued to actively contribute to the work of the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG), working with other private sector stakeholders to underline the importance of ensuring AEO programmes are accessible for small and medium sized enterprises.
Following concerns raised among membership, FIATA, through the collaborative efforts of its Working Group Sea Transport and Advisory Body on Legal Matters (ABLM), published guidance concerning carrier requests for freight forwarders to sign letters of undertaking (LoUs) in relation to the acceptance of bookings. The effect of this is to extend liability to non-contractual parties, contrary to general and recognized principles of contract law in many jurisdictions. Such practices appear to go further than the common phenomenon of extending liability through broadly defined ‘merchant clauses’, on which FIATA submitted comments to the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in November 2020. FIATA recommends that freight forwarders are mindful of these to ensure that they do not unnecessarily bind themselves to onerous and far-reaching liabilities.
The kickoff meeting of the FIATA Logistics Institute (FLI) took place on 16 February. FLI Chair Stephen McDermott presented the objectives of the newly created institute, as well as the role of its task forces. Delegates exchanged views on FLI priorities and FIATA members’ needs as to training and education. Given the collaborative approach fostered by FLI, the input of delegates as well as consultations with Association Members will be crucial to provide a maximum value for FIATA members. A survey will therefore be circulated to Association Members on this matter. FLI would like to warmly thank all the Association Members and delegates who will contribute to its work.
For further information about FLI, or how to become a delegate, please contact FLI Manager Dr Frédérique Roche at [email protected].
The work of FIATA’s Advisory Body on Safety and Security (ABSS) will receive a new impetus in 2021 under the newly elected Chair, Niels Beuck. ABSS plans on addressing relevant issues for the industry, starting with the challenge of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, but also dealing with issues like air cargo security, battling cargo theft and revising secure parking standards, and providing guidance to members to increase IT security and organize the transport of dangerous goods.
ABSS has therefore launched a call for delegates to FIATA Association Members to meet these challenges and provide value for the industry. ABBS welcomes new delegates with the necessary expertise to join the safety and security team of experts. For further information, please contact ABSS Manager Dr Frédérique Roche at [email protected].
The following software provider companies are participating in the e-FIATA Bill of Lading (eFBL) proof of concept: AKANEA, Bolero, CargoWise, CargoX and eDoxOnline. FIATA is looking for 20 Associations Members and stakeholders (shippers, banks, carriers, etc.) already customers - or prospect customers of the mentioned software - to test the full lifecycle of the future eFBL and to test the document tracking solution being built. Participants will join a revolutionary initiative for the freight forwarding industry that will immerse them in the digital era. Participation will be crucial during the month of June, where volunteers will have to perform several tests and will be requested to share feedback with FIATA.
From 22-25 March, Association Members are invited to attend the FIATA Week (formerly HQ Meeting). There will be a wide range of sessions, from working meetings where FIATA bodies will discuss their main projects for the year to come, to capacity-building sessions with experts demonstrating how members can leverage social media opportunities in their associations, to Presidency and HQ sessions – to name a few.
The high-level dialogues will also be an opportunity for both Association Members, and exceptionally this year, Individual Members to hear from key speakers on the digitalization in the supply chain, such as Henk Mulder, Head of Digital Cargo at IATA; Steve Walker, Senior Consultant Expert; and Stephane Noll, Head of Digital at Champ Cargosystems. A full programme and brochure will be shared on Monday, 1 March via email to all Association Members.
During the 2021 FIATA World Congress, the Young FORWARD Committee of the Belgian Association will organize the Young Logistics Programme (YLP). The YLP will be entirely dedicated to young talents in the logistics industry, attracting students from universities worldwide as well young professionals.
A YLP challenge will take place in line with the congress theme ‘the changing climate of logistics’. The challenge will give sustainability top billing and will be based on concrete business cases managed by logistics companies. Universities and companies looking to be showcased in front of a large, young and innovative community are encouraged to submit their business cases. For more information, please contact Pauline Dutertre, FIATA Marketing and Events Officer at [email protected].