E-Flash No. 86 - December 2014


1. FIATA Headquarters Session 2015 Registration is open

The FIATA HQ Session will take place from Wednesday March 18th to Sunday March 22nd, 2015 in Zurich Switzerland. Online registration is now open on the FIATA Website. Please follow these links to learn more about this remarkable event:

FIATA HQ Session 2015 Programme:

http://fiata.com/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Meetings/FIATA_HQ_Session_2015_Programme.pdf

Registration Form: http://fiata.com/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Meetings/Registration_Form_HQ_Session_2015.pdf

 

2. Back on Track: The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement strikes deal and moves ahead

The recent November 27th General Council meeting saw the WTO adopt the decision related to India’s public stockholding for food security, the Trade Facilitation Agreement and the post-Bali work. The WTO DG has confirmed “We have delivered today on a promise we made in Bali. Now let’s make it count”.

Decision 1:      Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes - WT/GC/W/688: Members agreed that the peace clause will remain in force until a permanent solution to that issue is found. They also agreed that they shall make all efforts to negotiate a permanent solution by 31 December 2015. This is an advance of the original target date which was the 11th Ministerial Conference in 2017.

Decision 2:       Trade Facilitation - WT/PCTF/W/28: Members adopted the Protocol of Amendment which formally inserts the Trade Facilitation Agreement into the WTO rule book. This clears the path for the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement to be implemented. Members will now go ahead and ratify this agreement following their individual internal procedures.

Decision 3:       Post-Bali work - WT/GC/W/690: Members committed that this work will resume immediately and will engage on the implementation of all Bali Ministerial decisions including the work programme on the remaining Doha Development Agenda issues. Members decided that the deadline for agreeing the work programme will be July 2015.

At the General Council (Nov 27th),  Director-General Azevêdo said “that the WTO should aim, by the time of the next General Council on the 10th of December (2014), to have a clear sense of what lies ahead and a plan for taking our work forward in the New Year" Full Statement by the DG.

The WTO currently has 160 members, meaning 107 ratifications will be necessary to bring the TFA into force.  With the impending accession of Seychelles, the minimum will soon be bumped up to 108 members. Today's decision also means that the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility launched on 22 July 2014 now becomes operational

Further details about the TFA, including the text of the Protocol, can be found at http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tradfa_e/tradfa_e.htm. Information on the separate General Council decision related to public stockholding for food security is available here

 

3. NOTICE FOR MEMBERS: Be aware of fraudulent activity involving copycat Bills of Lading

According to several credible sources, FIATA has come aware of recent fraudulent activity surrounding the cloning of the Bill of Lading. One specific source reported on a new technique that uses cloned master bills of lading.

In this new tactic, fraudsters pose as shippers; clone a master of bill of lading making it appear as if it was issued by a global carrier. It is then presented to the consignee’s bank for payment. Any bank checking the Bill of Lading will find the information correct and since it was issued by a recognized global carrier they remain confident that it is genuine and settle the payment. 

FIATA advises its members to be aware of this activity and maintain high alert to ensure that their operations are not comprised. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the secretariat at info(at)fiata.com

 

4. Russian government orders TIR reintroduction

News from the International Road Union (IRU) has reported that the Russian Government has issued an order to the federal customs service and the ministry of transport to finalize the tender procedure in establishing the TIR association in line with Russian law and the TIR convention as early as possible.

Furthermore, the Russian government has called for the uninterrupted functioning of the TIR convention on its territory until the tender is completed. IRU welcomed this intervention by the Russian Government with the expectation that the tender procedure can now be finalized without further delay. This, in turn, will allow the full reintroduction of TIR throughout Russian territory in the near future, and in turn benefit the Russian economy and international trade.

Source: www.iru.org

 

5. Indonesia Sea Toll Route aimed at Reducing Country's Logistics Costs

According to the Secretary of the Expert Team of the National Logistics System, a sea toll road, a maritime program initiated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, may reduce the country’s logistics costs by 10 to 15 percent.

Currently, between 18 and 22 percent of companies’ production costs in Indonesia are absorbed by logistics costs, particularly due to expensive transportation costs, hence seriously reducing competitiveness of Indonesian companies. In peer regional countries this figure is below ten percent.

For more information please read: http://www.indonesia-investments.com/nl/news/todays-headlines/sea-toll-road-of-indonesia-will-reduce-countrys-logistics-costs-sharply/item2665

 

6. Changes to Hungarian VAT legislation in 2015

A new law will enter into force in Hungary on the 1st January 2015 introducing the EKAER-Electronic road transportation control system. The Electronic Road Transportation Control System (EKAER) will help the tax authority in Hungary in tracking every product transported in the country.

The reason to implement the new system is to ensure that no goods are put in circulation in Hungary that was not previously reported to the Hungarian Tax and Customs Authority. It is suggested that the system will be key in efforts to whiten the economy and the fight against corruption.

The following web-newsletter on international tax issues equally provides a detailed briefing on the law: http://www.rsmdtm.hu/ekaer-in-practical-terms

 

7. Germany to introduce Minimum Wage – The Effects on Transport Sector

Based on information collected and shared by CLECAT, as of 1 January 2015, Germany will introduce minimum wages of €8.50/hour (gross) which applies to every employee which is actively working in Germany. For the transport sector this means that all transport instructions into and in transit through Germany, including cabotage, needs to comply in accordance to this new regulation.

This means that prior to the work being performed a written notification needs to be given to the appropriate customs authorities notifying them who is in charge of the work, the type of work, the duration of time, etc. DSLV has confirmed that a representative in Germany is not required to submit the necessary paper work as it can be sent to the customs office remotely.

Please also note that if you are transporting goods for short periods of time close to the border on a regular basis, you do not have to transmit documentation for every trip, but it is sufficient to combine trips into one transmission for a period of up to 6 months.

DSLV has drafted general conditions for its members to cover potential liability claims (and are willing to translate the text into English given a time period). For more information, the law (in German) can be found here: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/milog/gesamt.pdf   

8. Important information from the Secretariat

The FIATA Secretariat would like to bring to your attention the following important and helpful information:

Address changes - To keep the FIATA Members Directory updated at all times the FIATA Secretariat depends on immediate notifications from our Members regarding changes to their address details. Please send the details regarding your address changes to info(at)fiata.com.

Invoice distribution in 2015 - All invoices for FIATA Membership Subscription 2015 will be issued in Swiss Francs (CHF) as usual and sent by e-mail to all FIATA Members by mid-January 2015.When processing your payment please always use your invoice number as reference. In addition an emailed copy of your remittance advice will greatly aid the identification of your payment. Your certificate will be sent by regular airmail as soon as the payment has been received and matched with your record.

Contribution towards FIATA Foundation - Since 2009, FIATA has included an amount of CHF 25.00 on its invoices, in addition to the annual membership subscription, as a contribution to the FIATA Foundation. Please note that this amount is optional as explicitly noted on our invoices. We extend our sincerest thanks to all individual FIATA members who have paid their contribution to the FIATA foundation. Your donations are indispensable in our efforts to promote knowledge and learning tools in the areas that most need it.

Opening hours FIATA Secretariat – Holiday Season in December 2014 We would like to kindly inform you, that the FIATA Secretariat will be closed during the Holiday Season in December 2014 as follows

closed from Wednesday, 24th of December 2014 until Friday, 2nd of January 2015

We thank you all for the kind cooperation during the year 2014 and are looking very much forward to a fruitful and close collaboration in 2015.

 

11 December 2014 

 

 

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