FIATA gives the UCR its conditional blessing

In the light of the on-going discussions at the World Customs Organisation (WCO) on the Unique Consignment References (UCR), FIATA has decided to review this initiative and published yesterday its Position Paper on the Unique Consignment References (UCR).

The UCR concept as described in the WCO UCR Recommendation has the potential of being a major facilitator and expeditor of international trade. FIATA’s role is to represent the interests of the international freight forwarding sector. International freight forwarders and logistics service providers are de facto the single source of facilitation for all shippers and traders in the world. With their services they offer a practical single window for all trading partners.

In its position paper FIATA explains why at this point in time the use of the UCR has become highly advisable and sees that in the supply chain process it is logical to conclude that the UCR is required when the physical movement starts and not   before.

FIATA insists on the paramount importance that the UCR serves as an access key. It is not intended to be the source of, but the access key to information relating to the consignment held by the various parties in the supply chain. The UCR not being a source of information in itself will also ensure confidentiality of commercial information.

In FIATA’s views a tool that facilitates and expedites international trade should be supported by both national governments and the private sector.

Stephen Morris, Chairman of the Customs Affairs Institute of FIATA, made the following comment: 

“Given the practical impact of existing procedures on all international trade movements FIATA recommends to WCO Member Administrations   their support to the use of the UCR.  FIATA sees the use of a common reference will facilitate and expedite trade over and above the variety of disparate reference numbers that are currently carried along the value chain. The UCR can improve the efficiency of data exchange and the visibility of the supply chain with evident advantages for all stakeholders, in particular shippers.  FIATA believes a UCR can simplify data exchange and provide for more cost efficient and cost effective processes. Efficiency and visibility is also instrumental to Customs and other authorities in performing their regulatory requirements. For these reasons and for the potential savings that could be achieved FIATA sees the adoption of a UCR as a win-win position both for the public, and the private sector.”

For the full text of the position paper (2 pages) please go to: FIATA website:

28 June 2012

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