e-Flash No. 174 - 9 April 2018

INTERNAL AFFAIRS

FIATA Secretariat Closed for Upcoming Bank Holidays

Important to note that the FIATA Secretariat will be closed on upcoming bank holidays below.

  • Sechselaeuten April 16th - End work at 12pm
  • Labour Day May 1 - Closed
  • Ascension Day May 9-10 – Closed
  • Pentecost May 21 - Closed

We will keep members updated of upcoming bank holidays as we approach them.

 

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

WTO - 2018 Public Forum Theme to be “Trade 2030”

The WTO’s 2018 Public Forum, to be held on 2-4 October, will discuss how technological developments are affecting trade and how to ensure that trade in 2030 will continue to help society address the major challenges facing the world.

The Public Forum will focus on how technology is changing the way we trade. In light of these technological developments, it will assess how trade can continue to contribute to job creation, growth and sustainable development, particularly in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda. 

For more details, please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/pf18_29mar18_e.htm

 

WTO and ICC announced the selection of 3 more ‘Business Champions’ Proposals

The WTO and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced on 14 March the selection of three more proposals submitted under the ICC-WTO Small Business Champions initiative. The Institute of Export and International Trade (UK), eBay (US), and the National Confederation of Industry (Brazil) put the proposals forward.

The proposed activities, including a range of training, capacity-building initiatives and competitions for micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs), will be carried out over the coming months.

For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/sbc_14mar18_e.htm


Asian e-commerce Entrepreneurs Complete UNCTAD-Alibaba Course

Three dozen Asian entrepreneurs have graduated from UNCTAD and Alibaba Business School’s eFounders Fellowship at a ceremony in Hangzhou, China. The programme helps young entrepreneurs to unlock their full potential and bridge the digital divide.

With the conclusion of the second eFounders programme on 4 April, Alibaba is now another step closer to fulfilling the commitment made by Jack Ma, founder and executive chair of Alibaba Group, in his capacity as UNCTAD’s special adviser for young entrepreneurs and small business.

For more details please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1709&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#2147;#Youth%20Network

 

UNCTAD – African-wide Free Trade Deal signed

Leaders of nearly 50 African nations signed a deal to create the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at a ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21 March, marking a historic milestone in the economic integration of the continent.

The formation of a free trade area spanning Africa creates a single market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of more than $2 trillion.

For more details please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1695&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=Africa,%20LDCs,%20LLDCs%20and%20Special%20Programmes;#1390;#Economic%20Development%20of%20Africa;#20;#UNCTAD%20Home


WCO - Successful Conclusion of the 4th WCO Global AEO (Authorized Economic Operators) Conference

The 4th WCO Global AEO Conference – ‘Promoting Mutual Recognition of AEOs to Strengthen and Secure Global Trade’ concluded in Kampala, Uganda on 16 March 2018. The conference brought together more than 1100 participants from 95 countries and provided a platform for 125 speakers.

The Conference saw presentations on the successful implementation of AEO programmes in the East African Community (EAC) region and inspired other regional blocks to implement such programmes and learn the lessons from the experience acquired. The participants were also interested in learning the different ways to involve the private sector in the discussions and consolidate the partnership with Customs and other government agencies.

For more details please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/march/successful-conclusion-of-the-4th-wco-global-aeo-conference.aspx


The WCO Harmonized System Committee (HSC) held its 61st Session

The WCO Harmonized System Committee (HSC) held its 61st Session from 6 to 16 March 2018 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels. The session, with the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Harmonized System (HS) Convention as a backdrop, was attended by more than 120 participants representing 67 Contracting Parties to the HS Convention, one WCO Member administration and a number of international and regional organizations.

During this session, the HSC took 275 classification decisions (251 of which related to pharmaceutical products (International Non-proprietary Names, INN)). These decisions apply to a wide range of products covered by the HS Nomenclature as a whole in at least seven different areas.

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/march/hsc-held-its-61st-session-from-6-to-16-march-2018-at-wco.aspx

 

The WCO Private Sector Consultative Group met in Kampala, Uganda

The WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) had their 42nd Meeting from 12 to13 March 2018 in Kampala, Uganda at the invitation of Mr. Dickson Kateshumbwa, Commissioner of Customs, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). John Mein from PROCOMEX chaired the meeting.

The group reviewed and discussed the outcomes of the WCO SAFE Working Group (SWG) held in February 2018, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) implementation and the 1st WCO E-commerce Conference held in February 2018 in China, among other things. The PSCG recognised the extensive inter-sessional work undertaken by the SAFE review subgroup for the finalisation of the SAFE 2018.

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/march/the-wco-private-sector-consultative-group-met-in-kampala.aspx


WCO and CARICOM conclude a MOU

At the invitation of the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, the WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited the CARICOM Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana on 20 March 2018 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations.

This MOU formalizes relations between the two organizations that have already been cooperating with one another for years.  CARICOM is keen to harmonize Customs’ procedures among its 15 Members to facilitate trade and to protect its citizens from illicit trade.  With its strategy to enhance collaboration with economic communities, particularly when it comes to promoting regional integration, WCO is a natural CARICOM partner. 

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/march/wco-concludes-a-mou-with-caricom.aspx

 

UNECE - Smarter Roads for Smarter Mobility

As transport technology progresses at breath-taking speed we tend to focus on how advanced and intelligent vehicles are getting.  However, of equal importance is the infrastructure that they travel on and where new technology can be used to make these roads more secure, safe, efficient and environmentally sound to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  

UNECE is now focusing on as part of the responsibilities of the Working Party on Road Transport (SC.1) this subject.  SC.1 works on the development and facilitation of international transport by road of both passengers and goods, helping to create simple harmonized transport rules and requirements.  The harmonization of intelligent infrastructure is a natural subject for these responsibilities but has not yet received enough attention.  That changed when SC.1 held a special session that explored current practices, trends and perspectives in smart road infrastructure. 

For more details, please visit: https://www.unece.org/info/media/news/transport/2018/smarter-roads-for-smarter-mobility/doc.html

 

UN/CEFACT Help Smaller Businesses Access International Trade

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), hosted by UNECE, has put forward a project to help MSMEs access the international trading market. Many of the services which are necessary for this are disperse and costly. In response, the project proposes to create eService platforms to assist MSMEs in overcoming these obstacles in an effective manner.

Building on the existing experience of eService platforms, the project will identify the barriers that MSMEs face and propose ways to address them, and take concrete steps for the creation of such platforms. This will help these smaller companies access international markets, whether in Mongolia, Bulgaria, Senegal or Uruguay.

For more details, please visit: https://www.unece.org/info/media/news/trade/2018/uncefact-to-help-smaller-businesses-access-international-trade-through-new-digital-platforms/doc.html

 

UNECA - Central African Countries Urged to Align for Trade Integration

Members of the Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration of the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) have urged the Secretariat of the 11-nation Community to intensify its efforts at mobilizing member States to do their due diligence for the ECCAS Free Trade Area (ECCAS FTA) to become effective.

This is among the major recommendations of the 5th session of the Committee that has rounded off in Cameroon’s economic capital Douala, at a time when the entire African continent is coming together though the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/central-african-countries-urged-align-themselves-africa%E2%80%99s-ongoing-trade-integration

 

AIR CARGO

IATA - Significant Step Forward in the Digitization of Dangerous Goods

IATA has taken a significant step forward in the digitalization of the dangerous goods supply chain following the adoption of the e-Dangerous Goods Declaration (e-DGD) standards. The e-DGD is an electronic approach to manage the IATA Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD), leveraging industry initiatives to digitalize data and embrace data sharing platform principles.

This aligns with and supports industry initiatives to modernize air cargo processes efficiently and share critical data among stakeholders that need it. Implementing the e-DGD requires cooperation between all stakeholders, including shippers, forwarders, carriers, ground handling agents and third party providers.

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-03-14-02.aspx

 

IATA Expands its Montreal Head Office Operations

(IATA) announced it is increasing its Montreal headquarters operations with the expansion of its Financial and Distribution Services (FDS) division. The move is expected to grow IATA's employment in Montreal to more than 400 with the addition of 27 full-time jobs—some newly created, others relocated from Geneva, Switzerland.

This expansion of IATA's Montreal operations is part of the creation of a Global Delivery Centre (GDC) where the back office functions for IATA's Financial Settlement Systems (FSS) have been consolidated into four locations. 

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-03-21-01.aspx

 

IATA: Air Freight Up 6.8% in February but Protectionist Risks Remain

IATA released demand growth results for global airfreight markets for February 2018 showing a 6.8% increase in demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) compared to the same period last year. Adjusting for the potential Lunar New Year distortions by combining growth in January 2018 and February 2018, demand increased by 7.7%. This was the strongest start to a year since 2015. 

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), grew by 5.6% year-on-year in February 2018. Demand growth outstripped capacity growth for the 19th month in a row, which is positive for airline yields and the industry's financial performance. 

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-04-04-01.aspx

 

IATA - Infrastructure, Costs Key to Harness Power of Aviation in Latin America

IATA called on the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean to focus on infrastructure, costs and the region's regulatory framework. By concentrating on these areas, the economic and social benefits of aviation can be maximized while accommodating the region's expanding demand for air connectivity.

The region's key capacity challenges are Buenos Aires, Bogota, Lima, Mexico City, Havana and Santiago. "Unless they are addressed, Latin American economies will suffer. If planes cannot land, the economic benefits that they bring will fly elsewhere," said de Juniac. He highlighted Mexico City and Santiago as the most pressing:

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-04-04-02.aspx

 

IATA Innovates Dangerous Goods Handling

IATA has launched an innovative new solution for the air cargo industry: Dangerous Goods AutoCheck (DG AutoCheck) that will enhance safety, improve efficiency in the transport of dangerous goods by air, and support the industry’s goal of a fully digitized supply chain.

DG AutoCheck is a digital solution that allows the air cargo supply chain to check the compliance of the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD) against all relevant rules and regulations contained in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-03-14-01.aspx

 

Fang Liu Reappointed Secretary General of ICAO for a Second Term

The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has reappointed Dr. Fang Liu of China by acclamation as Secretary General of the UN Specialized Agency for a second three-year term, beginning 1 August 2018.

“It is my great honour to accept this re-appointment and to continue to drive the transformational changes I have begun across ICAO and its Regional Offices in order to make this a more streamlined and efficient UN specialized agency leading such a dynamic sector,” Dr. Liu commented.

For more details, please visit: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Fang-Liu-reappointed-Secretary-General-of-ICAO-for-a-second-term.aspx

 

SUSTAINABLE LOGISTICS & CONNECTIVITY

UNECA - African Countries Discuss Efforts to Reduce Emissions

A two-day consultative workshop on Enhancing Readiness for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Implementation in Africa ended Tuesday in Addis Ababa with participants agreeing on the need for the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and its partners to continue supporting member States in their efforts to combat climate change.

NDCs are at the heart of the Paris Agreement that was signed in 2015 setting out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C. The NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Read more at: https://www.uneca.org/stories/african-countries-discuss-efforts-reduce-national-emissions-adapting-impacts-climate-change

 

IMO - Norway Targets IMO to Halve Global Shipping Emissions by 2050

Global shipping should set a goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Norway’s government and ship owners’ association said on Thursday before talks by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

The IMO, which says international shipping represents about 2.2 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions, will meet from April 9-13 to develop a strategy to combat climate change. Shipping was not included in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-shipping-imo/norway-targets-imo-to-halve-global-shipping-emissions-by-2050-idUSKCN1HC1OG

 

UNFCCC - Keynote Address to the Cologne Carbon Expo & Conference

“It is a real pleasure for me to be here at the second Cologne Carbon Expo. The large increase in participation compared to last year is a clear and encouraging indication that the carbon market is maturing, that greenhouse gas emissions have a price for which a currency has been created/” said Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC secretariat at the opening of the Cologne Carbon Expo & Conference 2018.

He continued: “Coming from the UNFCCC, I feel a certain pride that this has all happened because of multilateral decision-making, through the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. I am therefore more than happy to follow the request of the organizers and give you some insights on where we stand in the intergovernmental process that has reached a crucial stage now that the Kyoto Protocol has entered into force.”

Read more at: https://cop23.unfccc.int/news/keynote-address-to-the-carbon-expo-conference-by-executive-secretary-joke-waller-hunter

 

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