E-Flash No 61 - 8 November 2013

1. Reminder to take the World Bank 2013/2014 Logistics Performance Index survey

While many responses to this survey have been received, we continue to strongly encourage our members to complete this survey as it provides essential information to the World Bank in the compilation of their Logistics Performance Index (LPI), a comprehensive index of logistics performance in 155 countries. Completing the survey should take no more than 15 minutes. The last day to take the survey will be November 26, 2013. Questions on the LPI? Send us an email at lpi(at)worldbank.org. If you are working at a freight forwarding company dealing with international shipments, we cordially invite you to take the survey at:
http://lpisurvey2014.worldbank.org?comp=FIA

2. Significant changes to the 55th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations

IATA has released a summary of the main changes to the 55th edition of their Dangerous Goods Regulations, effective 1 January 2014, replacing last year’s edition. The 55th edition incorporates all amendments made by the IATA Dangerous Goods Board and includes corrigenda and addenda issued after the 54th edition was published. The list is not exhaustive and is merely a tool to assist users to identify the main changes introduced in the new edition. Beside changes to various requirements for lithium batteries and radioactive material, etc., a new Appendix has been added, Appendix H, to provide details of changes coming into effect 1 January 2015 based on the adoption of changes arising from the 18th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations as well as the changes that have been agreed to date by the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel for inclusion in the 2015/2016 Technical Instructions. The list can be viewed on the IATA website:
https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Documents/Significant%20Changes%20to%2055th%20DGR-EN%20(20130901).pdf

3. Financial transactions to Brazil – The SISCOSERV system

All financial transactions which are not directly related to goods or products, i.e. all kinds of services, must be fed into the SISCOSERV system by any company registered in Brazil (in the forwarding context: all freight charges and additional costs of freight forwarders). The amount, date and beneficiary information including the tax number of the beneficiary must be indicated on the transaction. FIATA recommends all freight forwarders dealing with Brazil to issue invoices in accordance with Brazilian law. It is unknown whether consequences will already be enforced if beneficiary tax numbers are not mentioned by freight forwarders abroad. The system came into force on 1 April 2013, with the transition period ending on 31 December 2013. The law is mandatory from 1 January 2014 onwards. For more information:
www.siscoserv.mdic.gov.br/g33159SCS/jsp/logon.jsp

4. The 2014 version of the European Community’s Combined Nomenclature is available

The annually revised Combined Nomenclature (CN) will come into effect 1 January 2014. When declared to customs in the European Community, goods must generally be classified according to the CN. Imported and exported goods must be declared under the subheadings of the CN. This determines which rate of customs duty applies and how the goods are treated for statistical purposes. The European Commission states: “The CN is thus a vital working tool for business and the Member States' customs administrations.” The Explanatory Notes to the CN are considered to be an important aid for interpreting the scope of the various tariff headings but do not have legally binding force. For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_duties/index_en.htm

5. EU publishes practical guidelines for businesses on new VAT rules

The European Commission made guidelines available in view of their implementation of new VAT rules for telecoms and e-services. These guidelines were created to enable timely preparation for the enforcement in 2015. VAT will be charged where the customer is based, rather than where the seller is. The European Commission stated: “A One Stop Shop will enable telecoms, broadcasting and e-services businesses to comply with all of their VAT obligations in all EU Member States from their country of registration.” For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/telecom/index_en.htm

6. New WTO database on trade services

The WTO has updated and renewed its database on trade services to make it more user-friendly. I-TIP Services, the services component of the Integrated Trade Intelligence Portal (I-TIP), is a set of linked databases providing information on:

  • WTO Members' commitments under the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS);

  • Services commitments in regional trade agreements (RTAs);

  • Applied measures in services; and

  • Services statistics.

The main objective of the integrated database is to make it easier for governments, academics, researchers and other stakeholders to access various types of information relevant for services trade policy-making. The database is freely accessible at:
http://i-tip.wto.org/services

7. Special offer for FIATA Members

FIATA has negotiated for its membership a reduction of 10% for an annual subscription to Lloyd’s List. The usual price for a subscription is €2280 while the price for FIATA members is €2052. Lloyd’s List provides critical information on daily business and analysis, providing news that keeps readers informed in an increasingly competitive and complex shipping market. Lloyd’s List is the only information provider that covers all aspects of shipping, from logistics to container shipping to regulation to the seafarer on the ship’s bridge. For further information or to subscribe please send an email to: william.purchase@lloydslist.com.

FIATA Special Feature

A quick look inside the 2013 FIATA World Congress in Singapore 15-19 October

1. And the winner is…!

At the opening ceremony, the much anticipated winner of the Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year Award was announced. Competing against 3 other regional winners, Mr Mohamed Samy of Egypt, Mr Kaloyan Petrov of Canada, and Mr Prabhjot Singh of India; Ms Janna Van Burgeler of Germany takes home the title of Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year 2013. FIATA extends hearty congratulations to Ms Burgeler!

The Chairman of the YIFFY Award Steering Group, Mr Andrew Kemp, was pleased to report a much higher amount of candidates this year compared to previous years. Almost 50% of Association Members put forth a candidate but the Steering Group hopes to see this number increase still. Mr Kemp stated that the Steering Group is examining the possibility of increasing the age limit to 32 and also changing the mandatory work experience of 2 years to ‘experience preferred’ in the hope of attracting more applications.

2. Validated and re-validated training programmes

On 13 October the Advisory Body Vocational Training (ABVT) successfully validated or re-validated the training programmes of the following Association Members:

  • Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) – FIATA Diploma (Revalidation)

  • Singapore Logistics Association (SLA) – FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management (Revalidation)

  • Egyptian International Freight Forwarders Association (EIFFA) – FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management (First Validation)

  • South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) - FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management (First Validation)

  • The Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) - FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management (First Validation)

ABVT would like to make note of the 3 new Association Members with validated FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management programmes. The demand for this diploma is clearly growing. With the addition of three more Association Members this brings the total FIATA Higher Diploma validated Association Members to 12.

3. Advisory Body Vocational Training – ABVT

The Chairman informed delegates that a record breaking 415 Diplomas were distributed since the HQ Session held in Zurich, Switzerland (March 2013). This is a strong indicator that Association Members are experiencing tremendous success after validating their training programmes. This now brings the total number of FIATA Diplomas distributed to 8,604 since its inception in 1996. A young freight forwarder from Bangladesh has contacted FIATA with the hope of earning a FIATA Diploma. This has spurred the FIATA Foundation to pursue a possible Train-the-Trainer programme in Bangladesh. There is also strong interest from African countries for Train-the-Trainer courses.

4. Advisory Body Security Matters – ABSM

An excellent presentation entitled “The Changing Face of Terrorism and its Implication for the Forwarding and Logistics Industry” was delivered by guest speaker, Ms Jolene Jerard, Associate Research Fellow and Manager at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), Singapore. She presented the truth behind the scenes of terrorism in Asia, showing graphic photos of the results of terrorism and naming persons, places and terrorist cells past and currently alive in Asia. Without any doubt, this extremely interesting and riveting presentation left the floor almost speechless. Excitable post-meeting discussions were enjoyed by all the delegates who felt they had witnessed one of the highlights of the congress.

5. Advisory Body Legal Matters – ABLM

A mini-forum on “Logistics Infrastructure Development in Asia: FIATA’s Role” was held in the ABLM meeting. The first presentation by guest speaker, Mr Amer Zafar Durrani, Senior Regional Cooperation Specialist, Central Asia, World Bank Group, focused on the relationship between development of logistics infrastructure and related services, and the principles, rules, regulations and standards that govern its use. The second guest speaker, Dr Mohammad Saeed, UNCTAD, Switzerland, spoke under the banner “The emerging legal landscape of international trade disciplines: Challenges for the logistics industry and the role of FIATA.”  He discussed the fact that world trade is growing faster than world GDP, and elaborated on value chains which have become the more prominent feature of global commerce, where goods cross many borders (having value added to them) before ending up in a retail store.

6. Customs Affairs Institute – CAI

The re-vitalisation of trade with Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies will require transparent and efficient cross-border arrangements which benefit civil society and economies to facilitate trade. Dr Alan Bollard, Executive of the Singapore based APEC Secretariat with Mr Lim Teck Leon, Deputy Director General, Singapore Customs, and Professor David Widdowson, Chief Executive Officer, Centre of Customs and Excise Studies of the University of Canberra, Australia, provided further impetus to the facilitation question through their commentary on enhanced supply chain security and customs to business partnerships. FIATA Customs Affairs Institute Chairman, Mr Stephen Morris, commented: “The immediate future of economic recovery is dependent on trade becoming a preeminent issue for policy change. Service providers in international trade logistics and supply chain management will be instrumental in meeting that challenge.”

7. Multimodal Transport Institute – MTI

The decision by the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS RF) to terminate the TIR Guarantee Agreement with the Association of International Road Transport Carriers in Russia (ASMAP) was fiercely discussed. FIATA is concerned that an interruption or termination of the TIR system would create congestion at borders, unnecessary waiting times, and much higher transport costs, which will have an impact on the traffic flow to and from Russia.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) now allows foreign-based, unlicensed NVOCCs to enter into Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRA) in lieu of publishing a rate in their tariff. The overwhelmingly negative feedback which was received caused heated discussion at the recent MTI meeting.

Container weighing was once again brought to the table. FIATA believes that the need for weighing should be based on a proper risk analysis of the quality of the data transferred between shipping lines, shippers and customs authorities. It is FIATA’s view that this does not add any degree of safety to containers at sea, and that this will only add extra costs and administrative burdens to shippers around the world with negative consequences for global supply chains.

8. Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and CEO, addresses the FIATA World Congress

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Mr Tony Tyler, delivered a forward looking speech entitled ‘Delivering Solutions Together.’ The key message was very clear: “Air cargo needs to embrace change to stand up to the challenge of the evolutionary path of airfreight in future years. Higher quality and greater efficiency must be created to meet the challenges that shifting supply chain models will impose on the freight industry." Tyler recertified IATA’s commitment to work in partnership to deliver the solutions that will secure the future of air cargo. He identified the freight forwarding industry as the main interlocutor of airlines in achieving the results that traders and shippers want or will require in future, and the essential element for these results to come to fruition.

9. Region Africa Middle East – RAME

Once again the RAME meeting was extremely well attended. With the new interactive style of meeting, the first guest speaker, Mr Marco L. Sorgetti, FIATA Director General, presented excellent information on achieving business compliance through FIATA’s best practice policy. The second guest speaker, Mr Stephen Morris, Chairman FIATA Customs Affairs Institute, provided much needed guidance on staying current and relevant in an ever-competitive industry.

Greater detail regarding all the meetings from the 2013 FIATA World Congress held in Singapore will be available to you in our upcoming FIATA Review.

8 November 2013

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