E-Flash No 116 - 23 December 2015


1.        Happy Festive Season from FIATA

FIATA’s wants to wish everyone a happy festive season this year and a great start to the 2016 year where we look forward to another year of great endeavours and strengthened relationships with our members and partners.

 

2.        Paris Delivers! COP 21 Strikes Deal - Private Sector's Role in Implementation

It took an extra day but on Saturday November 12th, negotiators finalized what is dubbed “The Paris Agreement”; the first formal multilateral climate pact struck in 18 years aimed at holding global average temperatures below a two degree Celsius rise from pre-industrial levels, with best efforts to limit these to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The almost two decades of talks have finally come to an ambitious agreement to hold some 200 countries and territories accountable to emission targets. To read more about FIATA’s efforts in this area please visit: http://fiata.com/media/press-releases/2015/16-december.html

 

3.        WTO receives six additional ratifications for Trade Facilitation Agreement

The WTO has received six additional ratifications for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), bringing up to 63 the number of WTO members that have formally accepted the TFA. Several ratifications were submitted by ministers during the organization’s Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.

In addition to Myanmar, Norway, Viet Nam, Brunei, Zambia and Ukraine, the following WTO members have also accepted the TFA: Hong Kong China, Singapore, the United States, Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Niger, Belize, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, China, Liechtenstein, Lao PDR, New Zealand, Togo, Thailand, the European Union (on behalf of its 28 member states), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama, Guyana, Côte d’Ivoire, Grenada,  Saint Lucia and Kenya. To read more please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news15_e/fac_17dec15_e.htm

 

4.        WTO members conclude landmark $1.3 trillion IT trade deal

WTO members representing major exporters of information technology products agreed today (16 December) at the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference, in Nairobi, on the timetable for implementing a landmark deal to eliminate tariffs on 201 IT products valued at over $1.3 trillion per year.

Negotiations were conducted by 53 WTO members, including both developed and developing countries, which account for approximately 90 per cent of world trade in these products. However, all 162 WTO members will benefit from the agreement. To read more please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news15_e/ita_16dec15_e.htm

 
5.        Liberia and Afghanistan join WTO membership

President Kenyatta welcomed the formal approval by ministers of Liberia’s WTO membership terms at a special ceremony on 16 December held at the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.

In addition, ministers formally approved Afghanistan’s WTO membership terms at a special ceremony held at the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference (MC10).

To read more about Liberia’s Accession please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news15_e/acc_lbr_16dec15_e.htm

To read more about Afghanistan Accession please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news15_e/acc_afg_17dec15_e.htm

 

6.        UNECE signs United Nations Development Cooperation Strategy of Turkey for 2016-2020

UNECE has committed today to strengthening its support to Turkey’s development cooperation efforts over the next five years by signing the United Nations Development Cooperation of Turkey (UNDCS) for 2016 – 2020.

UNECE will assist in implementing international standards on public-private partnerships in various sectors of infrastructure, such as water and sanitation, health, roads, renewable energy, education, ICT etc.

To read more please visit: http://www.unece.org/?id=41778

 

7.        New business-led alliance established to speed implementation of WTO deal on trade facilitation

The International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and the Center of International Private Enterprise—along with the governments of Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States—have launched a major new partnership to support effective implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

FIATA’s supports the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation with its aim to provide a unique platform to leverage business expertise and resources in the implementation of customs and border reforms.

To read more please visit:

http://www.iccwbo.org/News/Articles/2015/New-business-led-alliance-established-to-speed-implementation-of-WTO-deal-on-trade-facilitation/

 

8.        WSIS+10 High Level Meeting – Details and UNCTAD’s Support

UNCTAD has welcomed the adoption of the high-level outcome document by a General Assembly High-Level Meeting in New York on 15–16 December to review the implementation of outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in the context of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Heads of UN system entities reaffirmed their commitment to the development dimension of technological advancement in a joint statement to the meeting. The meeting drew on the work of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), for which UNCTAD serves as the secretariat, including the comprehensive report Implementing WSIS Outcomes – A Ten-Year Review, which was discussed at the 18th meeting of the CSTD in Geneva in May 2015.

The General Assembly invited the main UN platform on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum, to consider the annual reports of the CSTD.

To read more please visit: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=3592d5dcafd1b9278dd78095f&id=8a439acd2d&e=f42ccce333

 

9.        Reminder - 2015/2016 Logistics Performance Index (LPI) Survey

The World Bank wants to hear from FIATA’s members as part of the on-going LPI 2015/6 survey. FIATA is the World Bank’s most important partner in the LPI survey and it is thanks to the participation of FIATA’s members that the LPI can be published every two years.

If you are working at a freight forwarding company dealing with international shipments, we cordially invite you to take the survey at http://lpisurvey2016.worldbank.org/?comp=FEF. Completing the survey should only take around 20 minutes. The survey does not seek any confidential company-specific information. Responses are anonymous.

 

10.     EU-Canada trade negotiating mandate made public

The Council decided on 15 December 2015 to declassify the directives given to the Commission to negotiate a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada. The draft agreement was finalised at an EU-Canada summit in September 2014. Legal scrubbing and translation are underway, with a view to signature, ratification and conclusion.

The agreement will remove over 99% of import tariffs in both Canada and the EU. It will create sizeable new market access opportunities in services and investment.

To read more please visit: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/12/15-eu-canada-trade-negotiating-mandate-made-public/

 

11.     Commission provides transitional rules for operators and customs authorities for a limited period from 1 May 2016

The European Commission has adopted transitional rules to ensure a smooth transition between existing and new customs rules from 1 May 2016.

On 17 December 2015, the European Commission adopted a delegated act to establish transitional rules (hereafter the Transitional Delegated Act) for operators and customs authorities pending the introduction of new IT systems to create a fully electronic customs environment.

To read more please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/customs/customs_code/2015-ucc_info-note_en.pdf

 

12.     National emissions of air pollutants: The Council of the European Union agrees its position on new limits

On 16 December 2015 the Council agreed on a general approach for the proposed directive to reduce national emissions of certain pollutants (the so called new NEC Directive). This agreement, reached during the Environment Council meeting, will serve as a basis for negotiations with the European Parliament on this file.

This legislative proposal reviews the annual caps per country for emissions of certain air pollutants, introducing new reduction commitments from 2020 to 2029 and from 2030 onwards. The aim is to further address the health risks and environmental impacts posed by air pollution, as well as to align EU law with international commitments (following the revision of the Gothenburg Protocol in 2012).

For more information please visit: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/12/16-national-emissions-air-pollutants-council-agrees-position-on-new-limits/?utm_source=dsms-auto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=National+emissions+of+air+pollutants%3a+Council+agrees+its+position+on+new+limits

 

13.     Australia Air Cargo Prohibition Notice

Recent information provided by the Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF) have confirmed restrictions prohibiting airlines from carrying any air cargo that has originated from, or transited through, Syria; Yemen; or Somalia. Air cargo that has originated from, or transited through, Egypt; or Bangladesh will also be prohibited, except for items that are currently exempt from screening under the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005.

If during its journey to Australia, the cargo has been transported via a means other than air cargo, such as sea or land freight, before uplift to Australia then it is no-longer regarded as air cargo originating from, or transiting through, the country.This means that if the cargo can be transported from origin in the prohibited country by sea or land transport to another country that is not on the restricted list, the cargo may still be transported by aircargo to Australia.

FIATA along with AFIF is in contact with the Office of Transport Security to clarify questions around treating consignments as original shipments if flown from Bangladesh airports to an intermediate airport in another unrestricted country and then subjected to X-Ray screening, before being consigned by onward air carriage to Australia. We await their reply and will relay further information.

For more details on the directive please visit: http://www.afif.asn.au/CampaignProcess.aspx?A=View&Data=kwXDcG0Tpav9%2b12fT%2f3vrw%3d%3d and http://www.afif.asn.au/industry-news/updated-information-air-cargo-prohibitions

 

14.     A Plan to Spur Climate Resilient Infrastructure in Africa

A recent World Bank/UNECA study shows that incorporating climate change considerations into the design and planning of infrastructure can considerably reduce future climate impacts to the physical and economic performance of hydropower and irrigation investments.

Furthermore, the analysis indicates that failure to integrate climate change in the planning and design of power and water infrastructure could entail, in the driest climate scenarios, losses of hydropower revenues of between 5 and 60 percent (depending on the basin); and increases in consumer expenditure for energy up to 3 times the corresponding baseline values.

To read more please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2015/12/09/a-plan-to-spur-climate-resilient-infrastructure-in-africa

 

23 December 2015

 

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