5 November 2021
In the run-up to the FIATA 2021 General Meeting, the reporting sessions continued this week with a focus on FIATA Advisory Bodies, providing the respective Chairs with the opportunity to assess the challenges addressed over the year, to take stock of the progress and achievements, and to encourage exchanges between all FIATA members wishing to contribute to this work.
Advisory Body on Safety and Security (ABSS)
"Organized crime structures have identified logistics as a very attractive target. Physical and digital attacks are low risk, but provide them with an easy way to make a lot of money. Finding defence and mitigation measures have to be the focus of our future work." - Niels Beuck, Chair of ABSS
On Monday 1 November 2021, the ABSS under the auspices of its Chair, Niels Beuck, opened the week to take stock of 2021 and to review the Body's objectives for the upcoming months.
ABSS has conducted valuable work to bring together key FIATA events, notably the High-Level Dialogue on Safety and Security Threats to COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Supply, the Shipping Roundtable on Private Sector Cooperation to Combat Illicit Wildlife and Timber Trafficking in Containerized Supply Chains, and the informal meeting with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes. In addition, ABSS initiated cross-collaborative projects on crucial topics for FIATA Members, namely cybersecurity and Pre-Loading Advanced Cargo Information (PLACI). Working to produce concrete outputs on these two topics in full collaboration with the relevant FIATA bodies will be a top priority for ABSS delegates in the months to come.
Advisory Body on Information and Technology (ABIT)
"With successful completion of the Proof of Concept, the digitalisation of the FIATA Bill of Lading is becoming a reality." - Anne Sandretto, Chair of ABIT
The Advisory Body on Information Technology (ABIT) reporting session, led by its Chair, Anne Sandretto, took place on Tuesday 2 November 2021 and provided an opportunity for delegates to reflect on the significant accomplishments in 2021 in the implementation of the FIATA Digital Strategy, starting with the ongoing work on the digitalisation of the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading (eFBL).
Such work is taking place under a three-phased approach, starting first with making the eFBL standard (data model) and API available to all software providers to implement, offering a quick solution for freight forwarders to issue secured eFBL through their everyday tools. In parallel, FIATA is working with different organizations active in the supply chain, such as DCSA and BIMCO, on solutions to facilitate interoperability and ensuring electronic bills of lading can be exchanged between stakeholders regardless of the type of solution/software used. Finally, as a third phase, a neutral solution to electronically transfer title is also being discussed with other key organizations, such as the ICC. Other topics considered include the possibility to create a neutral title registry and a solution for a harmonized legal framework recognising electronic documents worldwide are also under consideration - until the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferrable Records (MLETR) is more developed.
Advisory Body on Legal Matters (ABLM)
"ABLM's work in 2021 provided FIATA members with the tools to navigate these unprecedented times." -Dr. Yuntao Yang, Chair of ABLM
During ABLM's reporting meeting on Wednesday 3 November 2021, ABLM Chair Dr. Yuntao Yang highlighted the fruitful and positive collaboration with other FIATA bodies in 2021. This was at the core of ABLM's projects and activities, which has produced valuable resources for the benefit of the freight forwarding community through these challenging times.
Among others, the guidance on letters of undertaking and the difference between the FIATA Model Rules and the FBL Standard Terms and Conditions, as well as publication of a comprehensive Best Practice Guide on Contract Management which was launched to FIATA membership with an introductory webinar on the contracting process. In addition, expanding the outreach of FIATA resources has also been a priority for ABLM, which continues to promote the negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading (FBL), and to support the development of the eFBL and the legislation on electronic documents in collaboration with ABIT.
Such cross-collaborative work remains firmly on ABLM's busy agenda for the upcoming year, including joint multi-disciplinary taskforces on eFBL governance, and on cybersecurity, as well as work to increase knowledge-sharing on antitrust regulations applicable to the supply chain, to name a few. In addition, work on electronic documents will continue, with a key priority being the development of guidance on electronic contracts.
Advisory Body on International Affairs (ABIA)
"If we work altogether as FIATA around the world, there are things we can change, but if we work only locally, we are kind of lost." - Cynthia Perisic, ABIA delegate
On Thursday 4 November 2021, Cynthia Perisic chaired the ABIA meeting on behalf of its Chair, Paul Golland. This meeting was the occasion to look back over ABIA's activities in 2021 and to address its future projects.
ABIA's supportive role has been welcomed, notably through its work to support the Customs Affairs Institute (CAI) in the organisation of the FIATA Connect webinar on e-commerce. Crucially, considering the relevance of the World Trade Organization - Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA) for the freight forwarding and logistics sector, ABIA worked to support FIATA Association Members in the implementation of the WTO-TFA, starting with the launch of an online survey to better understand the needs of the Association Members. This will continue to be an important project for ABIA in the months to come, with awareness-building and information-sharing being key objectives, to support members in their national contexts with respect to the National Committees for Trade Facilitation. Some actions discussed included the elaboration of a memo and organisation of a webinar featuring a TFA expert.
Other future synergies considered included providing ABIA's support to the activities of the FIATA Working Group Sea to raise the voice of freight forwarders at the international level, noting the continued challenges in the maritime supply chain. In addition, it will explore opportunities for cooperation with ABSS with regards to the critical issue of organized crime within the freight industry.
UPCOMING FIATA STATUTORY MEETINGS
REGIONAL BODIES REPORTING MEETINGS