Founding Members sign basic principles for new Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) and are "ready to go to work"

Air cargo security and e-commerce will be the priorities of the newly-formed Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) after its four founding member associations finalized and signed the basic principles of the Group at the IATA World Cargo Symposium in Istanbul.

FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) also agreed to address the issues of Customs and trade facilitation and sustainability of the global air cargo industry.

Completing the formation of the new group ahead of the original time schedule, the founding members said the advisory group’s role is to establish a vision and strategy for the global air cargo supply chain and to present joint industry positions to third parties, including inter-governmental organizations such as WCO and ICAO. Chairmanship of GACAG’s new Steering Committee will rotate among the members on an annual basis, commencing with TIACA for 2011. They have also agreed that TIACA will serve as the Secretariat for GACAG.

Each member will designate two representatives onto the GACAG Steering Committee, which will direct, supervise and assist Task Forces of technical experts responsible for addressing GACAG’s objectives in relation to security, e-commerce, Customs and sustainability. The individual Task Forces will report back to the committee with recommendations.

In relation to air cargo security, the Security Task Force will focus on four areas:

Advance electronic information process and timelines to improve aviation security risk assessment 

  • Consignment security declaration process and layout to provide aviation security regulators with an audit trail of who secured what, how and when

  • Supply chain security program guidelines to introduce supply chain security in countries where there is none

  • Ad hoc supply chain security issues

The Steering Committee will work on a similar set of objectives for e-commerce, Customs and facilitation, and sustainability of the global air cargo industry. These will be published in due course.

In a joint statement, the heads of the four founding member Associations stated: “The high level of co-operation and commitment from all members has ensured a faster formation of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group than was originally anticipated. We believe this reflects the need for such a strong industry-wide voice to address the challenges and opportunities facing everyone in the air cargo supply chain and, ultimately, businesses across the globe that rely on the speed, safety and efficiency of air cargo for their own growth and development. We are now ‘ready to go to work’ with a clear agreement on the prime areas we must focus on and the supporting structure to achieve our goals.”

FIATA, IATA, TIACA and GSF commenced the process that has led to the formation of GACAG last November at the TIACA Air Cargo Forum and Exposition in Amsterdam. During the conference, Michael Steen, Chairman of TIACA, Des Vertannes, Global Head of Cargo of IATA, Jean-Claude Delen, President of FIATA, and Peter J. Gatti, Executive Vice President of the U.S. based shipper organization, The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) on behalf of the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), signed a letter of intent committing to work towards the formation of an industry advisory group to ensure the air cargo industry had a strong, unified voice in its dealings with worldwide regulatory authorities and other bodies whose decisions directly impact on air cargo.

About TIACA

TIACA is a not for profit trade association for the air cargo industry, pledged to support and assist progressive liberalization of the global market, and easier, enhanced trade between developing and developed economies.  It is a worldwide organization that serves a membership which includes all major segments of the air cargo and logistics industry; airlines, forwarders, airports, ground handlers, all-cargo carriers, general sales agents, road carriers, customs brokers, third party logistics companies, integrators, technology and equipment providers, shippers, and educational institutions.

To accomplish its mission and role, TIACA engages in activities that are geared to improve industry cooperation, promote innovation, share knowledge, enhance quality and efficiency, and develop educational programs. TIACA’s activities are aimed to inform both the public and its membership about the role and importance of air cargo, industry developments and technical trends. TIACA is committed to representing and advocating the interests of the air cargo industry at meetings of relevant regulatory bodies including the WCO, ICAO, UNCTAD, OECD and others that are open to trade observers.

About IATA

Air transport is one of the most dynamic industries in the world. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is its global trade organization. Over 60 years, IATA has developed the commercial standards that built a global industry. Today, IATA’s mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. Its members comprise some 230 airlines - the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines among them - representing 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic.

IATA seeks to improve understanding of the industry among decision makers and increase awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. It fights for the interests of airlines across the globe, challenging unreasonable rules and charges, holding regulators and governments to account, and striving for sensible regulation.

About FIATA

FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, was founded in Vienna, Austria on May 31, 1926. It is a non-governmental organization that today represents an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing around 8-10 million people in 150 countries.

FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (inter alia ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). It is recognized as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organizations, governmental authorities, private international organizations in the field of transport such as the European Commission (through CLECAT), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.

About GSF

The Global Shippers’ Forum is the world wide body that represents shippers and transport users internationally. The GSF comprises the major national and regional shippers’ organisations in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa representing over 50 countries across the world’s major trading regions.

The GSF was established to promote competitive global transport markets and supply chains to further the development of international trade and commerce. In this regard, prime policy objective of the GSF is to promote efficient global supply chains.

17 March 2011

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