10 February 2022
Welcome to the new FIATA eFlash! We have made over the last week some minor, but significant changes, as some of you may have already noticed. The new eFlash is now published weekly on Thursdays and combines the eFLASH and Spotlight to bring members the weekly highlights interesting to the FIATA freight forwarding community. FIATA has also taken the opportunity to redesign the eFLASH, updating the header to ensure that each freight sector: ocean, air, road and rail, is well represented. We hope you like it! And don't forget that you can contribute to eFLASH by sharing important freight news with FIATA to be sent to [email protected].
50th Online Validation begins!
The 50th session of validation and re-validation of FIATA Association Member’s training programmes will start this week, with the kick-off meeting gathering the members of the FIATA Logistics Institute’s Task Force 1 – FIATA Training Standards. This session will be held fully online. FIATA is grateful for the commitment and valuable support of the Task Force 1 Members, who are willing to share their time and expertise to ensure that the high-quality standards of the FIATA Diplomas are maintained throughout the validation and re-validation process. This is key in ensuring that FIATA remains at the forefront of freight forwarding education. For more information take a look at the dedicated FIATA webpage.
The 83rd session of the IATA-FIATA Consultative Council (IFCC) is fast approaching, and for the second year running will be held in virtual format on 23-24 February 2022. Preparation is well-underway as the six FIATA representatives to the IFCC get set to discuss a number of crucial items that will feature on the agenda. Particularly important will be the need to defend and protect the interests of the airfreight forwarding industry and ensure a meaningful balance under the air cargo programme, whilst continuing to foster a collaborative and constructive relationship.
This week also marks the start of the Regional Joint Council meetings, which kicked off with Latin America (LAACP-JC) on 8 February. It will be followed by Canada (CACP-JC) on 10 February and Europe (EACP-JC) on 15 February. The outputs of those meetings will provide important elements for the IFCC representatives to consider as part of their preparation. The involvement of FIATA as an observer in all the Regional meetings will reinforce the position of FIATA to defend the industry in the IFCC meeting. Stay tuned to get the highlights of the IFCC meeting.
On 8 February 2022, FIATA, as a member of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG), participated in a special session with WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr Ricardo Treviño Chapa, to provide private sector input into the WCO Strategic Plan 2022-2025.
The need for greater consistency and understanding by WCO Member States in the implementation of WCO instruments was highlighted, as well as the importance of cooperation with other organisations to move towards the development of global instruments that would positively impact trade flows, and boost the efficiency of border operations. Consultations on the WCO Strategic Plan will be ongoing in the coming months prior to the presentation of the strategy to the Policy Commission and Council in June 2022, and FIATA will continue to work actively with the PSCG to provide input as necessary.
Meanwhile, eCommerce continues to remain high on the agenda, with the third series of informal ad hoc meetings on the WCO E-Commerce Package Periodic Review taking place on 3 February 2022. The meetings provided the opportunity to discuss and finalise the various proposed amendments to the WCO E-Commerce Package standards and technical specifications prior to discussion at the plenary level. FIATA welcomed the positive responses to its proposals as elaborated under the auspices of the FIATA Customs Affairs Institute (CAI), many of which were integrated into the final proposed version which will be discussed during the 235/236th sessions of the WCO Permanent Technical Committee (PTC), which will take place on 25-29 April 2022.
To learn more about the 2022-2025 WCO Strategic Plan please go to the WCO Press Release.
UNCTAD - NTFC Global Forum 2022 – Key takeaways
The month of February started in the best way, with a new edition of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) Global Forum, organised by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This four-day forum gathered subject matter experts from the public and private sectors to discuss how they have integrated the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) into their day-to-day businesses, while sharing best practices on the operational functioning of their respective NTFCs.
Among the key takeaways of this forum were that UNCTAD offers several online tools which can be used to better handle priorities and ensure a smooth running of the NTFCs, such as the Reform Tracker or Trade Portal. Additionally, the role of digitalisation is a key element to successfully implement Trade Facilitation reforms, through automation of processes and the use of tools allowing online project management. It was also noted that public-private sector collaboration is essential- there must be a whole government approach to develop a harmonious NTFC, ensuring adequate private sector representation. Finally, the importance of considering the rapid growth of eCommerce in Trade Facilitation framework was also highlighted, all the more so as it constitutes an efficient tool to democratise trade.
The timely discussions during the forum represent avenues of interest for FIATA’s Advisory Body in International Affairs (ABIA) in its quest to support FIATA Association Members in grasping the benefits of NTFCs, and in supporting them to better implement the TFA.
Visit the UNCTAD’s website for more information on the event and relevant tools to cultivate your involvement in NTFC.
ICAO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have completed new digital air cargo technical specifications guidance that will help to accelerate the transition away from long-standing paper-based documents used to facilitate the movement of global air freight.
The newly released specifications will replace the formerly paper-based Air Waybill (AWB), Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD), and the Consignment Security Declaration (CSD). The specifications and supporting materials are available free of charge to regulators, businesses, and other interested stakeholders through the UNDA COVID-19 Trade and Transport Project website.
As FIATA was part of the initial organisations who aligned its digital standard (eFBL) with the UN/CEFACT MMT Reference data model, we welcome this joint effort that will further facilitate interoperability within the industry.
Upcoming events where FIATA is participating: