News from FIATA
The FIATA digital identity working group, which is part of the FIATA digital strategy recently adopted, was launched last Friday with the participation of recognized IT experts running similar projects together with freight forwarders. Such projects are key to any digital supply chain of the future, which will go beyond data transfer into the realm of providing access to the necessary data to trusted parties. Digital identity allows to share the data and trust the person to whom you open your ‘house’. This is the core challenge of every such project and implies a complete shift in mindset.
The FIATA Extended Board took stock of the recent work of its regions. Region Africa and Middle East will continue it series of successful webinars, with the fourth one scheduled later this summer. Meanwhile, Region Americas is working on the challenges associated with COVID-19 and how to move forward to improve the fluidity of supply chains with the use of technology in customs procedures. Region Asia-Pacific is reinforcing its collaboration with UNESCAP, particularly on training and education and the post-COVID19 situation. Last but not least, Region Europe is looking at increasing its work with non-EU economies of the area to strengthen the voice of the European freight forwarding community at large. FIATA looks forward with excitement to their coming achievements.
In member news, the Boards of the Australian Federation of International Forwarders and Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia have joined forces to form a single body and change their current business names to the International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia (IFCBAA) Ltd. Read the full press release.
International trade and law
REMINDER: PROHIBITION OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE FIATA FORWARDERS CERTIFICATE OF RECEIPT (FCR) FOR STEEL SHIPMENTS
In 2001, FIATA issued a prohibition on the issuance of the FIATA Forwarders Certificate of Receipt (FCR) for steel shipments. This took place in the context of numerous incidents in relation to steel shipments whereby a freight forwarder had issued the FIATA FCR without actually disposing of the goods. A considerable percentage of these occurrences were found to be based on fraudulent activities, mainly by the seller of the goods, or on forgery of the FIATA FCR. In all cases, the buyers of the goods had relied on the FIATA FCR that was also partly stipulated in a letter of credit, and were not able to obtain the goods despite having paid the purchase price in most instances.
FIATA reminds its members that this prohibition of the FIATA FCR for steel shipments continues to be effective, to uphold the reputation and integrity of FIATA documents. FIATA Association Members are requested to ensure their members, together with the banking community in their national contexts, are made aware of this restriction.
FIATA also welcomes the decision of the CASS Consultative Council (CCC) Netherlands at its special meeting to withdraw the discussion point regarding the proposal to change the remittance frequency to fortnightly payments, following reference to FIATA’s statement of objection which raised substantial competition law issues.
Learning and sustainability
FLI DEVELOPS PRESIDENCY SCOPING DOCUMENT ON ACTIVITIES
The revalidation process continues with recent revalidations of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association; the Association For Transport, Freight Forwarding and Logistics Organizations in Ukraine; the Association of Logistics and Freight Forwarding of the Slovak Republic; and the Bulgarian National Freight Forwarding Association. The FIATA Logistics Institute (FLI) chair, together with the FIATA head office, are working in parallel on defining the scope of the institute for submission to the presidency. The new FLI will bring all education and training initiatives under one umbrella. It will bring together existing activities in the field of training and education with new ones, around three lines of work :
The first workstream will focus on FIATA standards and certifications, which will include the work on the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding, the FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management, and the ICAO FIATA Dangerous Goods by Air Training Programme. The second workstream will be dedicated to digital learning and international cooperation, addressing latest developments in teaching methods and technology as well as developing cooperation with international organizations in providing training and knowledge diffusion. The third workstream will focus on attracting and maintaining young and new talents to industry. In addition to the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year Award, it is expected to develop initiatives to support the industry to increase its appeal and diversity.
The call for FLI chair was issued on 13 July and the deadline for application is 7 August 2020 for an election at the General Meeting at the end of the year.
SPECIFICATIONS WORKING GROUP – CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
FIATA is launching a call for participation for its working group on the FIATA Digital Standard Template Library project focusing on the definition of the technical requirements. This project will address the current uncontrolled distribution and multiplication of electronic versions of trade documents, by making standard FIATA templates easily available to freight forwarders through their everyday tools (TMS and other platforms), in a controlled manner. This will ensure that everyone uses the same standard and up-to-date version of documents. The working group will be launched early September and will hold two-hour meetings on a monthly basis over a period of six months i.e. six meetings in total.
How to join
If you are interested in joining the Specification Working Group or have any questions about the project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 21 August 2020.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIATA has cancelled all its international meetings until further notice. Other meetings continue to take place regularly through videoconferencing systems, such as Zoom.