IATA-FIATA Joint Statement on Multilateral e-AWB Agreement

The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have announced that the Multilateral electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB) standard has been approved, removing the need for bilateral e-AWB agreements between airlines and freight forwarders. Airlines will have a single agreement with IATA that enables them to accept e-AWBs from all participating freight forwarders, while freight forwarders will have a single agreement that will allow them to tender e-AWB shipments to multiple airlines at numerous airports worldwide.

Collaborating closely, IATA and FIATA, together with some of their members, developed and tested the multilateral e-AWB standard in 2012. Trials in October 2012 confirmed the value of the new agreement, which was endorsed by the IATA/FIATA Consultative Council in February 2013. Final consent was reached with the approval by the IATA Cargo Services Conference of the Multilateral e-AWB as the new IATA Resolution 672 in March.

Des Vertannes, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo, said:

“The approval of the multilateral e-AWB agreement is the most important new cargo standard developed in the last two decades. It gives us critical momentum to achieving the e-freight vision of a paperless cargo system.”

Rudi Sagel, FIATA’s Chairman of the Air Freight Institute, said:

“Freight forwarders and airlines were looking forward to greater simplification when they looked at the e-AWB agreement; now this new multilateral e-AWB agreement allows forwarders to sign only once to connect to all signatory airlines. It means significant progress as joining the multilateral e-AWB agreement provides the legal framework to transmit AWB data electronically to the carrier for AWB completion.”

FIATA and IATA expect the multilateral e-AWB agreement to be well received by the airline and freight forwarding communities, and will play a major role in increasing take-up of the e-AWB to reach the industry target of 100% penetration by 2015.

Joining the multilateral e-AWB agreement has been made a simple as possible. Detailed information is available on the IATA and FIATA websites:



About IATA

IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 240 airlines comprising 84% of global air traffic. 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. IATA works with its members and global regulatory authorities to improve aviation safety, security, environmental performance and efficiency. It seeks to improve understanding of the industry among decision makers and increase awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. IATA can be followed at twitter.com/iata2press for news specially catered for the media.


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.

27 March 2013

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