E-Flash No 124 - 15 April 2016











1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, FIATA’s 2016 RAME Meeting May 19-22 - Take advantage of early registration before end of April


The Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents (EFFSA) and FIATA invite all delegates to this impactful gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Capital City in Africa which is gateway to southern, central and western African regions from the Middle East and is the host of this year’s Region Africa Middle East FIATA meeting.


This gathering shall be held as a forum filled with interesting topics and discussions that shall present the challenges and opportunities of doing business in the region and in the hosting country in particular. To register and find more information please visit: http://www.rame2016.org/rame2016-registration




2. Macao, China latest WTO member ratify Trade Facilitation Agreement


Macao, China has become the latest WTO member to ratify the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Macao, China deposited its instrument of acceptance with the WTO Secretariat on 11 April.


A Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) was also created at the request of developing and least-developed country members to help ensure that they receive the assistance needed to reap the full benefits of the TFA and to support the ultimate goal of full implementation of the new agreement by all members. 


For a further look please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news16_e/fac_12apr16_e.htm


3. UNCTAD - e-Commerce, Trade and Development


More than 200 experts gather at the United Nations Office in Geneva to discuss implications of new ways of trading for developing countries


The second UNCTAD e-Commerce Week tackles topical issues such as online data privacy, policy discussions about cross-border transfers of data, the growth of e-commerce, and concerns over waning trust in online transactions. The event will also feature consultations with stakeholders on a new global initiative aimed at enhancing the capacity of developing countries to engage in and reap benefits from e-commerce.


To read more please visit: http://unctad.org/en/Pages/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingid=1068


4. UNCTAD - Empowerment Program for National Trade Facilitation Committees


UNCTAD’s new program is an intensive professional program for the Secretariat and the members of National Trade Facilitation Committees. The aim is to help them implement trade facilitation reforms, including the provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.


To read more please visit: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/webdtltlb2016d1_en.pdf?utm_source=UNCTAD+Transport+and+Trade+Facilitation+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1ce1a4bd63-UNCTAD_s_Transport_Newsletter_n69&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f6141a63dd-1ce1a4bd63-44494137#page=6


5. EU and Indonesia Advance Towards Free Trade Negotiations


On Monday 7 April, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström held a meeting with Mr. Thomas T. Lembong, the Minister of Trade of Indonesia, with the aim of defining the scope of a potential bilateral free trade agreement that the two partners are getting ready to negotiate. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, said: "I'm very happy with the progress that we have been able to make so far towards a free trade deal with Indonesia. These constructive discussions have confirmed that Indonesia is making free trade with the EU a priority. Some work still remains to be done, and we are making progress in our efforts to solve outstanding issues.”


To read more please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/indonesia/


6. Indian, Australian Officials Eye Possible 2016 Conclusion for Trade Talks


Indian and Australian officials have said in recent weeks that they aim to speed up their ongoing trade negotiations, with some raising the possibility that a deal could be clinched in the coming months.


Talks for the trade deal kicked off in May 2011. The two sides had previously aimed to ink an accord by end-2015, with then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott and top Australian trade officials putting that date forward after Canberra finished trade talks with three other major Asian economies: China, Japan, and South Korea.


To read more please visit: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/indian-australian-officials-eye-possible-2016-conclusion-for-trade-talks




7. FDA Releases Final Rule on Safe Transportation of Food Rule


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the Final Rule for the Sanitary

Transportation of Human and Animal Food on April 6, 2016. This Final Rule will advance FDA’s efforts to protect foods from farm to table by keeping them safe from contamination during transportation.


The earliest compliance dates for some businesses begin on April 6, 2017, while “small businesses” have until April 6, 2018, to comply. The Agency defines a small business as, “businesses other than motor carriers who are not also shippers and/or receivers employing fewer than 500 persons and motor carriers having less than $27.5 million in annual receipts.”


The information is provided courtesy of TIA. To read more please visit: http://tianet.informz.net/TIAnet/data/images/2016%20Documents/FDA%20Releases%20Final%20Rule%20on%20Safe%20Transportation%20of%20Food%20Rule2.pdf




8. UNCATD - Trade Facilitation in Africa


On 21 July 2016, UNCTAD and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) will host a joint side event at UNCTAD 14. The panel will discuss linkages between trade facilitation reforms and regional integration, with a special focus on the East African Community (EAC). The following article aims at providing some initial considerations for this discussion.


To read more please visit: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/webdtltlb2016d1_en.pdf?utm_source=UNCTAD+Transport+and+Trade+Facilitation+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1ce1a4bd63-UNCTAD_s_Transport_Newsletter_n69&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f6141a63dd-1ce1a4bd63-44494137#page=13


9. ASYCUDA Single Window for Rwanda


Following extensive training for all stakeholders, who included RRA, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Standards Board (RSB), the Magasins Generaux du Rwanda (MAGERWA) freight forwarders and clearing agents, the ReSW was piloted in February 2012, before eventual rollout in January 2013.


With connection of all relevant authorities to the central ReSW, clearances for cargo have been more swiftly processed resulting in major time-savings.


To read more please visit: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/webdtltlb2016d1_en.pdf?utm_source=UNCTAD+Transport+and+Trade+Facilitation+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1ce1a4bd63-UNCTAD_s_Transport_Newsletter_n69&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f6141a63dd-1ce1a4bd63-44494137#page=18




10. EU - Updated Authorised Economic Operator Guidelines now Available


The updated EU AEO Guidelines are in line with the new Union Customs Code (UCC) provisions which will apply from 1 May 2016. Economic operators can apply for an AEO status either to have easier access to customs simplifications or to be in a more favourable position to comply with the new security requirements. Under the security framework, which has been applicable since 1 July 2009, economic operators have to submit pre-arrival and pre-departure information on goods entering or leaving the EU.


11. EU - The Investment Plan for Europe: First EFSI-financed Project online


State of play in April 2016 - The first example of a transport project financed through the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) is now available online. The project involving Italy's Trenitalia will create both temporary and long terms jobs while improving travel for passengers. So far the European Investment Bank has approved 54 projects through EFSI, of which 10 are transport related. More projects are expected to be approved soon.


To read more please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/publications/examples-efsi-financed-projects-march-2016_en


12. EU Commission adopts New Rules to Rail Infrastructure


The Commission has adopted rules to create fair conditions for new train services making better use of the available rail infrastructure.


Throughout the EU, rail service markets are characterised by dominant operators, which in some cases have close ties with infrastructure managers. Railway undertakings can block infrastructure for many years by way of framework agreements with infrastructure managers. In such a situation, the new rules will give better chances to operators that provide new services to get access to particular important lines thereby creating new opportunities for employment and investment.


To read more please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/rail/news/2016-04-07-new-rules-access-to-rail-infrastructure_en.htm




13. Shifting Towards Sustainable Freight Transport in Nairobi


UNCTAD, in cooperation with the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) and the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) organised a training and capacity building workshop on 14-18 March 2016, Nairobi, Kenya.


The workshop was carried out under the framework of the UNCTAD technical assistance project entitled “Building Capacities of Developing Countries to Shift Towards Sustainable Freight Transport”. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of policy makers (in transport, infrastructure and finance), transport operators (in rail, road, internal waterways and ports), and key financial institutions, in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular East Africa and in the small island developing States of the Caribbean (SIDS), to promote and finance sustainable freight transport systems through sound transport policy measures and adequate financing actions and mechanisms.


To read more please visit: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/webdtltlb2016d1_en.pdf?utm_source=UNCTAD+Transport+and+Trade+Facilitation+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1ce1a4bd63-UNCTAD_s_Transport_Newsletter_n69&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f6141a63dd-1ce1a4bd63-44494137#page=11  


14. ICAO completes Regional Consultation for Global Market-based Scheme


ICAO has successfully concluded its second round of Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) on Market-based Measures (MBMs) to address climate change from international flight emissions, a key priority under the UN agency’s strategic objective of environmental protection.


The five, two-day GLADs events were conducted in Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Legian, Indonesia; Utrecht, Netherlands; and Mexico City, Mexico. They covered a wide range of topics including the proposed global MBM’s  simplicity, environmental integrity, cost-effectiveness, possible means for differentiation without discrimination amongst States, and the assistance and capacity-building which may be needed to support its effective implementation.


To read more please visit: http://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Completes-Regional-Consultation-Round-Supporting-Global-Market-Based-Measure-(GMBM)-Scheme-For-Aviation.aspx


15. US, China Pledge Swift Accession to Paris Climate Deal


US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign the recent multilateral deal on climate change at a UN ceremony on 22 April, according to a joint statement issued last Thursday. They also pledged to take the necessary steps to ratify the pact in their respective nations as early as possible this year.


The leaders of the world’s two largest economies and carbon dioxide emitters further committed to work together and with other actors to promote the Paris Agreement’s full implementation in order to “win the fight” against climate change.

To read more please visit: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/us-china-pledge-swift-accession-to-paris-climate-deal


16. HFC Amendment to Montreal Protocol Edges Closer


Talks for a deal geared towards phasing down climate-warming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions held last week in Geneva, Switzerland, reportedly made good progress on addressing thorny issues, such as how to deal with different capacity levels and access to alternative technologies. Participants also discussed the role of intellectual property rights and financial support.


Montreal Protocol parties will gather from 22-23 July in Vienna, Austria, for an extraordinary ministerial meeting geared towards moving the HFC amendment process forward. An informal preparatory meeting will be held prior to that occasion in order to continue discussions on financing and other matters.


To read more please visit: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/hfc-amendment-to-montreal-protocol-edges-closer


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