e-Flash No. 171 - 12 February 2018


2018 FIATA HQ Meeting – Registration Link Sent to FIATA Members

Registration for the 2018 FIATA HQ Meeting has opened with a link sent to all FIATA members encouraging their participation. This year, the meeting will take place from March 15-17th. The Headquarters meeting is mainly policy oriented and should not be compared with the World Congress or the Regional Meetings

For more details please visit: http://fiata.com/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/initiatives/FIATA_HQ_Session_2018_Programme.pdf



First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference in Beijing

The First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference has been co-hosted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and China Customs from 9 to 10 February 2018 in Beijing, China. The theme of the Conference was: “An innovative, inclusive, strategic and collaborative approach to sustainable cross-border E-commerce”.

The Conference brought together policy makers and experts from Customs administrations, relevant agencies and ministries, E-commerce operators, international organizations, regional economic communities and other stakeholders. Participants were provided with opportunities to discuss the latest developments of fast-growing cross-border E-commerce.

FIATA was represented by Director General Hans Günther Kersten who participated as a panelist on a panel on Safety and Security of E-commerce.

The aim of the Conference was to enable all parties to, through collaborative thinking, find innovative and widely-applicable solutions for a secure, sustainable and dynamic cross-border E-commerce environment.

The main results of the Conference were summarized in the form of a "Beijing Declaration" to convey the consensus and vision of worldwide Customs and other stakeholders on global cross-border E-commerce.

For more details please visit:


UN Environment and WTO Launch Dialogue on Healthier Environments Through Trade

UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim and World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced that their organizations would join forces to launch a new dialogue on promoting innovative ways of using trade to generate greater opportunities to strengthen our economies and our environments at the same time.

A high-level event in Geneva later in the year will bring together leaders from the public and private sectors to kick-start this work.

For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/igo_25jan18_e.htm


WTO - Azevêdo: MSMEs Are Now at the Heart of the Trade Debate

Speaking at the invitation of the Friends of MSMEs at a meeting on 30 January, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said that the launch of the Informal Working Group on MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) was one of the highlights of the Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires.

“It is hugely impressive,” he said, “that the group has now reached 88 members – drawn from all regions of the globe and all levels of development.” He urged the group to remain open and inclusive, adding: “This work has come a long way in a very short space of time. Let’s see how far it can go.”

For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/spra_e/spra210_e.htm


China donates 1 million USD to support Implementation of WTO TFA

The government of China is contributing USD 1 million (approximately CHF 1 million) to help developing and least-developed countries implement the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and to support the objective of full implementation of the Agreement by all WTO members.

China's donation to the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) will finance the capacity-building support needed by developing countries to implement the Agreement. TFAF assists these countries in assessing their specific needs and in identifying partners to fund capacity-building activities.

For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres18_e/pr816_e.htm


WTO - Argentina Ratifies the Trade Facilitation Agreement

Argentina, host of the 11th Ministerial Conference recently held in Buenos Aires, has completed its ratification process for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Argentina's WTO ambassador Hector Marcelo Cima submitted his country's instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on 22 January. Argentina is the 128th WTO member to have done so.

For more details, please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/fac_22jan18_e.htm


UNCTAD - $89 Billion Lost in Underuse of EU Free Trade Agreements, Report Shows

The full potential of European Union free trade agreements (FTAs) remains untapped to the tune of almost 72 billion euros ($89 billion), UNCTAD and the National Board of Trade Sweden say in a new report.

This is the amount that European exporters overpaid because they did not take full advantage of the reduced tariffs offered by the FTAs that the EU as a bloc has signed with a variety of both developed and developing countries.

For more details please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1662&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#2207;#Trade Preferences: Data on Utilization Rates

WCO - Classification Decisions taken at the 60th Session Released

The Harmonized System Committee (HSC) held its 60th Session at WCO Headquarters in Brussels from 27 September to 6 October 2017.  The decisions taken by the HSC during this session have now been published on our website.

Hard copies of new Classification Opinions and sets of amendments to the Explanatory Notes will be made available in due course, enabling Contracting Parties to update their HS publications (Explanatory Notes and Compendium of Classification Opinions, 2017 Edition).

For more details please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/february/classification-decisions-taken-at-the-60th-session-of-the-hsc-have-been-released.aspx

WCO laysdDown Foundation of a Framework of Standards Cross-Border E-Commerce

The WCO E-Commerce Sub-Groups held face-to-face meetings at the WCO headquarters in Brussels from 23 to 25 January 2018. This meeting brought together more than 125 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 discuss and develop a ‘Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce’.

The Framework will be supported by an implementation strategy and action plan, as well as a robust capacity building mechanism to ensure its harmonized and expeditious implementation, based on national and regional needs and imperatives.

For more details please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/january/wco-lays-down-the-foundation-of-a-framework-of-standards.aspx


WEF - Trade Agreements Must Be Modernized for a 2018 Economy

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States, which created the world’s largest free-trade zone, is now under renegotiation. With the US moving towards a more protectionist approach, and the introduction of new technologies reshaping the economy, policy-makers are reimagining what global trade agreements might look like in a 21st-century context.

While trade agreements can provide many benefits, they must be responsive to changes in the economy. E-commerce, digital trading and new technologies have significantly affected global trade since NAFTA was first implemented in 1994.

For more details please visit: https://www.weforum.org/press/2018/01/trade-agreements-must-be-modernized-for-a-2018-economy

WEF – Canada Announces New TPP Deal

In a special address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced that Canada and the 10 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership had reached an agreement in Tokyo earlier in the day on a new “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership”, or the CPTPP.

Trudeau couched the new agreement in terms of shared determination to address and correct the inequitable distribution of the fruits of global trade in previous decades.

For more details please visit: https://www.weforum.org/press/2018/01/justin-trudeau-delivers-full-throated-feminist-address-announces-new-tpp-deal


WEF - The Belt and Road Initiative Can Foster Global Collaboration

The Belt and Road Initiative is a unique opportunity to connect continents through infrastructure, cultural and technological exchange in order to drive sustained economic progress, agreed participants at a Caixin debate.

Although the initiative is spearheaded by China, to succeed it must unite multiple stakeholders. “The Belt and Road is more than just an infrastructure project, it is a crucial engine for building a more socially inclusive tomorrow,” said Ren Hongbin, Chairman, China National Machinery Industry Corp.

For more details please visit: https://www.weforum.org/press/2018/01/the-belt-and-road-initiative-can-foster-global-collaboration-in-a-fractured-world




IATA - Air Freight Demand up 9% in 2017, Strongest Growth Since 2010

IATA released full-year 2017 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 9.0%. This was more than double the 3.6% annual growth recorded in 2016.  

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 3.0% in 2017. This was the slowest annual capacity growth seen since 2012. Demand growth outpaced capacity growth by a factor of three.

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-01-31-01.aspx


IATA and CAAS to launch Global Safety Predictive Analytics Research Centre

IATA and CAAS announced the signing of a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) to establish a Global Safety Predictive Analytics Research Center (SPARC) in Singapore. The MoC was signed by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, and Kevin Shum, Director-General of CAAS.

SPARC will utilize predictive analytics to identify potential aviation safety hazards and assess related risks by leveraging the research capabilities in Singapore, and operational flight data and safety information that are available under IATA's Global Aviation Data Management (GADM) initiative. 

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-02-07-02.aspx

IATA welcomes Single African Air Transport Market but effective Implementation is Key

IATA welcomes the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative by the African Union (AU) to open up Africa's skies and improve intra-African air connectivity. Enhanced connectivity will stimulate demand, improve the competitiveness of the African airline industry, and make air travel more accessible. In turn, this will enable higher volumes of trade, expanded tourism and growing commerce between African nations and with the rest of the world.

For more details, please visit: http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-01-28-01.aspx

ICAO – APAC Ministers endorse Joint Declaration on Regional Aviation Safety

With the Asia and Pacific (APAC) air traffic market poised to become the world’s largest by 2022, ministers in charge of civil aviation representing 36 governments met together in Beijing to endorse a new declaration formalizing their shared commitments on high-priority aviation safety and efficiency objectives.

Gathering at ICAO’s 2018 APAC Ministerial Conference, hosted by the People’s Republic of China, the high-level officials agreed to pursue cooperative progress on objectives relating to aviation safety oversight, State Safety Programme (SSP) implementation, airport certification, the timely implementation of the Asia/Pacific Seamless Air Traffic Management Plan, and the sharing of information and best practices for air navigation and search and rescue services.

For more details, please visit: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Asia-and-Pacific-ministers-endorse-joint-declaration-on-regional-aviation-safety-and-efficiency-priorities.aspx



UNFCCC - Leading Companies cut Supply Chain Emissions, save Money

A new report by CDP, a global environmental disclosure platform, says major companies worldwide achieved a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains in 2017.

Carbon emissions in supply chains are on average four times those of company’s direct operations. The report says as a result of emission reduction activities, the companies saved costs amounting to USD 14 billion last year.

Read more at: https://cop23.unfccc.int/news/leading-companies-cut-supply-chain-emissions-save-money

UNFCCC - Why 2018 is the Year for Business to Step Up Climate Action

Business has a critical role to play in achieving the scale of decarbonization needed. In fact, some large companies with global supply chains account for greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of entire countries.

Mars, Incorporated has a carbon footprint similar in scale to Panama’s. With this scale comes responsibility. By being more innovative and efficient, and working with suppliers and local economies, companies are finding ways to cut carbon and costs.

Read more at: https://cop23.unfccc.int/news/why-2018-is-the-year-for-business-to-step-up-climate-action

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