Everyone wins by maximising "de minimis" harmonisation
Facilitating trade with minimal use of resources becomes critical when the overall economy is growing sluggishly, as it seems the case in recent times.
"Economies could do with an injection of hope" said the Chairman of the Customs Affairs Institute of FIATA (CAI), Mr Steve Morris, during the FIATA World Congress in Istanbul this week. "Trade facilitation is key to stimulate world trade", continued Mr Morris, "and expand export opportunities. Implementing De Minimis requires each economy to assess its fiscal and business needs against a balanced and achievable value. Transparency, predictability and clarity of the determination by Customs administrations of such process are paramount."
FIATA is therefore knocking on the doors of governments to consider adopting a de minimis regime (or examine their existing regimes) in an effort to harmonise this facilitation instrument as enshrined in the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC). The recently published position paper is set to inspiring states to realise the potential benefits of a harmonised de minimis threshold, summoning on past studies and successfully implemented de minimis’ programs as sound evidence. Little doubt seems to exist that a wise de minimis regime can significantly boost trade.
FIATA's position is aware of the issues in achieving a fully harmonised de-minimis threshold in differing economies, but FIATA’s research has revealed that sufficiently harmonised de-minimis levels are likely to have a positive impact on the economic development of the countries where such regimes are adopted; hence the position calls governments to action and implores them to engage in discussing baseline levels capable of establishing a harmonised mechanism, at least starting at regional level.
Hans Günther Kersten, Director General
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 some 160 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.
15 October 2014