e-Flash No. 175 - 23 April 2018


2018 RAME Field Meeting in Doula, Cameroon May 3-5th – Register Today

This is your last chance to register for the upcoming 2018 RAME Field Meeting to be held in Douala, Cameroon at the Sawa Hotel. The meeting is attracting great speakers from local organisations to international bodies ready to discuss the future of trade not only in the Africa Middle East region, but around the world.

We encouraged those that are still interested to participate to register by visiting the website at https://rame2018.com/. For any questions or inquiries, please contact info(at)rame2018.com.


FIATA Receives Own VAT Number

FIATA has recently registered and received their own VAT number in Switzerland. We advise member to be aware of the VAT number CHE-100.792.407 MWST as this will be prevalent on numerous documents especially those payment invoices sent out by our secretariat.



Japan Customs Warning that Advance Filing Rules will Become Stricter

Japan Customs has Warning that Advance Filing Rules (AFR) on Container Cargo, implemented in March 2014, will become stricter from now onward in view of Rugby World Cup Olympic Games scheduled in Tokyo in 2019-20 and consequent higher risks of terrorism attacks in Japan.

In particular, the application of a penalty by Japanese customs law in case the cargo is not filed within deadline (24hrs before the departure of the vessel from port of loading) will be enforced.

For more details, please visit: http://www.customs.go.jp/english/summary/advance/jizen_e.htm


`Man-in-the-middle' Fraud: How to Prevent it, Who is At Risk, and What To Do

A form of fraud, colloquially known as a `man-in-the middle' attack, has become increasingly common in recent months. Targets of a man in the middle attack range from individual consumers to large multi-nationals even freight forwarders.

A fraudster creates one or more email addresses that are visually similar to those of one party say, Party A to a legitimate commercial arrangement. The fraudster's initial way in relies on either fortunate guesswork on their part or on obtaining access to previous emails between Party A and Party B (e. g. by hacking one or other email accounts).

For more details please visit: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=6c8cce34-0bfe-4aa6-86fc-edfa88e7c473

WTO Members Discuss Ways of Improving Transparency of Regional Trade

WTO members discussed how to improve work on enhancing the transparency of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) at a meeting of the Committee on RTAs on 9-10 April at the WTO. They reviewed five RTAs covering countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. The new chair of the committee, Ambassador Julian Braithwaite of the United Kingdom, presided at this first committee meeting of 2018

The Secretariat presented the new RTA Database, which includes the most up-to-date information on RTAs notified to the WTO, and highlighted the new features recently added to the RTA webpages of the WTO website. Members acknowledged their appreciation of these webpages and discussed how they could be made more user-friendly.

For more details, please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/rta_09apr18_e.htm


WTO – Strong Trade Growth in 2018 Rests on Policy Choices

World merchandise trade growth is expected to remain strong in 2018 and 2019 after posting its largest increase in six years in 2017, but continued expansion depends on robust global economic growth and governments pursuing appropriate monetary, fiscal and especially trade policies, WTO economists said.

The WTO anticipates merchandise trade volume growth of 4.4% in 2018, as measured by the average of exports and imports, roughly matching the 4.7% increase recorded for 2017. Growth is expected to moderate to 4.0% in 2019, below the average rate of 4.8% since 1990 but still firmly above the post-crisis average of 3.0%

For more details, please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres18_e/pr820_e.htm

ICC Brasil and UNCTAD Sign Deal to Harness Technology in International Trade

The Brazilian arm of the International Chamber of Commerce and UNCTAD have signed an agreement to work together to harness the power of cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and block chain to enhance and improve trade.

The memorandum of understanding between ICC Brazil and UNCTAD formalises their cooperation within the Intelligent Tech and Trade Initiative (ITTI). Deploying fast-emerging technology in the trade sector is a headline issue at UNCTAD's E-Commerce Week, which runs from 16-20 April, and the issue was the focus of a session on Intelligent Tech and Trade Tools: from Trade Logistics to a WTO E-Commerce Agreement, which included speakers from ICC Brazil, UNCTAD, Huawei, B2W, WEF and the government of Costa Rica.

For more details, please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1722&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20E-Week%202018;#20;#UNCTAD%20Home


UNCTAD - Digital technologies provide fertile ground for Africa, EU says

Mindful of its own experience in building a single digital market, the European Union is dedicated to helping Africa do likewise and help unleash the transformative power of e-commerce on the continent, the EU’s digital economy and society commissioner, Mariya Gabriel, has said on the opening day of UNCTAD’s E-Commerce in Geneva.

Information and communications technologies (ICTs) have boosted economic development worldwide, with estimates showing that, for example, a 10% increase in internet access gives a 1.2% push to per capita gross domestic product (GDP).

For more details, please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1723&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#2215;#UNCTAD%20E-Week%202018


UNCTAD Assessments Help Three More Countries Get e-trade Ready

The governments of the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Liberia – among the world’s least developed – are looking to new horizons and e-commerce to boost trade and create jobs.

Each country asked UNCTAD to carry out a Rapid e-Trade Readiness Assessment to guide them in building the right “e-commerce ecosystems” and provide their policymakers with a blueprint for developing the economic and developmental potential offered by online trade.

For more details, please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1720&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#2215;#UNCTAD%20E-Week%202018;#2140;#e-Trade%20for%20All

UNCTAD - Trust as Vital for E-commerce as Internet Connection, UN Meeting Hears

Electronic commerce has been booming over the years, but a growing lack of trust among online shoppers threatens to slow growth, and Consumers International director Amanda Long warned of “signs of trouble”, at UNCTAD’s E-commerce in Geneva.

In fact, a new survey of internet users shows that a lack of trust is the key reason for people choose not to shop online. The results show that although half the world’s population is still offline, getting more people connected is not enough to ensure e-commerce has continued success.

For more details, please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1724&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#2215;#UNCTAD%20E-Week%202018;#1446;#CSO


WCO - Working Group on E-Commerce Finalises Framework of Standards for Trade

The WCO Working Group on E-Commerce (WGEC) met for the 3rd time at the WCO headquarters in Brussels from 9 to 12 April 2018. This meeting brought together more than 150 delegates from Customs administrations, other government agencies, the private sector, other international organizations, e-vendors/platforms, express service providers, postal operators, freight forwarders, Customs brokers and academia to mainly discuss and develop a ‘Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce’.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Ana B. Hinojosa, WCO Director Compliance and Facilitation applauded the work done by the WGEC thus far. Noting the expectations of WCO Members and stakeholders, she underlined the importance of the ongoing work relating to the development of a Framework of Standards that could provide a globally harmonized approach to ensure the speedy delivery of parcels across borders, while ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements including safety and security and revenue collection.

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/april/working-group-on-ecommerce-finalises-the-framework-of-standards-on-cross-border-ecommerce.aspx


WCO - Successful Conclusion of the WCA Regional Transit Workshop

More than 80 experts from Member Customs Administrations, Industry associations, National guarantors and shippers’ councils, other private sector entities, Regional Economic Communities and development partners gathered in Cotonou, Benin from 11 to 13 April 2018 for a regional workshop on transit for the WCO West and Central Africa (WCA) region.

The event was co-organized by the WCO, the Africa Transport Policy Programme (SSATP) hosted by the World Bank, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation (ALCO). High-level officials from the Government of Benin addressed the workshop participants during the opening and closing ceremonies.

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/april/successful-conclusion-of-the-wca-regional-transit-workshop.aspx


WCO Europe Regional Heads of Customs Conference in Russia

At the invitation of Mr. Ruslan Davydov, First Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the WCO Europe Region Heads of Customs Conference, held in Sochi, Russia from 12 to 13 April 2018.

Mr. Davydov and Mr. S. Yurchenko, Vice-Mayor of Sochi extended warm words of welcome to the delegates representing the Region’s 34 Members present. A welcome address from the office of the Minister of Finance, Mr. A Siluanov, was also read out to delegates.

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/april/wco-europe-regional-heads-of-customs-conference-in-russia.aspx


UNECA - Policy Makers Benefit from IDEP Course on Trade Policy

The African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) organized a course on international trade policy for national and regional development that was held from 9th to 18th April 2018 on its premises, in Dakar, Senegal.

The course aimed to give to the 25 participants the necessary tools to design, implement and follow-up effective trade policies for their respective country, their sub-region and the whole continent.

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/policy-makers-benefit-idep-course-trade-policy-and-regional-development



UNECA - Ethiopian Airlines Promotes Regional Integration, Says Songwe

UNECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, recently met with Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, and praised the airline for championing regional integration through its flights to over 50 destinations on the continent.

The meeting followed the historic signing in March of the AfCFTA by over 40 African leaders, and the launch - in January - of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), an African Union initiative to create a single unified air transport market in Africa.

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/ethiopian-airlines-promotes-regional-integration-says-songwe


ICAO Issues Call for Innovative Solutions for Drone Airspace Management

Drone deliveries, drone inspections and even autonomous flying taxis are near term realities, and to make these services safe and efficient ICAO has begun the consultative work needed to establish low-altitude traffic management guidance for domestic unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Recognizing that an agreed global approach will greatly assist businesses and others in launching their UAS services with suitable levels of investment confidence and operational safety, ICAO is now convening its second DRONE ENABLE event for 13-14 September in Chengdu, China.

For more details, please visit: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-issues-call-for-innovative-solutions-for-drone-airspace-management.aspx


IATA Reiterates Strong Support for New Mexico City Airport

(IATA) emphasized its strong support for the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City that was launched in 2014 to replace Benito Juárez International Airport. "The current airport is bursting at the seams. It serves 47 million passengers, almost 50% over its design capacity of 32 million. A new airport is vital to enable Mexico City to benefit more fully from its ideal geographic position linking North America and Latin America," said Peter Cerda, IATA's Regional Vice President for the Americas.

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-04-09-01.aspx



UNCTAD - Top Angolan Officials Join African Carbon Forum 2018

Leading Angolans from the public and private sectors travelled to an African forum on climate change policy, carbon markets and finance to gain experience in new economic directions that Angola must take to reduce its dependence on oil – one of the highest in the world.

The mission to the African Carbon Forum 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, from 11–13 April was part of UNCTAD’s ongoing National Green Export Review of Angola, which is itself part of the EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola: Train for Trade II.

Read more at: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1717&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#1385;#International%20Trade%20and%20Commodities;#1865;#Green%20Economy;#2062;#National%20Green%20Export%20Review;#1493;#Technical%20Cooperation


UNECA - 2018 regional forum on sustainable development set for Dakar

The fourth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) will be held in Dakar, Senegal, next month under the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development theme: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.

The ARFSD, which tracks progress in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at the core of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will be held between 2 and 4 May.

Read more at: https://www.uneca.org/stories/2018-regional-forum-sustainable-development-set-dakar


ICAO Council President: African Airport Capacity Critical to Sustainable Prosperity

Addressing African aviation and government leaders at the Airports Council International’s (ACI’s) 2018 Africa Regional Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, ICAO Council President
Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu highlighted yesterday that the continent’s rapidly-expanding air traffic can only be sustained and optimized through the continued development and modernization of local aviation infrastructure, particularly at airports.

“The industry here generates very positive impacts on tourism and trade, directly and indirectly supporting 6.8 million jobs and generating 72.5 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” President Aliu said. “But due to the more recent and effective focus on air transport liberalization, many African hub airports are now expected to exceed their capacity by 2020.”

Read more at: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Council-President-African-airport-capacity-critical-to-continent-wide-sustainable-prosperity.aspx


UNESCAP – APAC Business Leaders Call for Strengthened Partnership

Future technologies and innovative financing have the potential to transform and accelerate sustainable development, but better policies and regulation are needed to ensure all benefit equally from these new advances. This was one of the main conclusions of the annual Asia-Pacific Business Forum (APBF), which was held in Hong Kong.

Organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Cyberport, with support from the Innovation and Technology Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and in cooperation with the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network (ESBN), the Forum brought together senior policymakers and private sector representatives to discuss how innovation, technology and financing can help solve environmental and social problems in the region while also supporting equitable growth.

Read more at: http://www.unescap.org/news/asia-pacific-business-leaders-call-strengthened-partnership-public-and-private-sectors


IMO Members Agree to Cut Emissions from International Shipping in Half by 2050

Members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have agreed to an initial strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, including a long-term vision to cut emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels by 2050.

GHG emissions from international shipping currently contribute an estimated 2.2% of global GHG emissions; however, emissions are projected to increase between 50% and 2050% by 2050 to accommodate raising volumes of international trade in goods and resources. Reducing emissions from international shipping is therefore crucial to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. More than 100 of the IMO’s 173 member states met under the organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MPEC) to discuss a package of measures to reduce emissions from international shipping.

Read more at: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/imo-members-agree-to-cut-emissions-from-international-shipping-in-half-by-2050/



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