Concerns around competition issues in the maritime supply chain have intensified in recent times in the context of shipping lines’ increased focus on vertically integrated structures, shipping alliances, and the need to ensure the fluidity of the supply chain in the COVID-19 crisis. Differing positions have been taken by the EU and the US on such topics, with the EU appearing more pro-carrier in its approach to the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation, and the US proactively engaging in a six-year investigatory process which culminated in the FMC Final Rule on Demurrage and Detention. Noting these divergences, FIATA is working to understand the situation in various jurisdictions and applicable antitrust regulations. FIATA will therefore be looking into how to facilitate closer coordination on this between the FIATA regions, which will inform the global position of FIATA and the possible actions of the Working Group Sea Transport.
FIATA would also like to congratulate Stanley Lim, FIATA World Congress Chair, for receiving the Public Service Star (Bintang Bakti Masyarakat – BBM). Awarded by the President of the Republic of Singapore, the BBM recognizes Mr Lim’s contribution to the logistics industry and long-term service to the Singapore Logistics Association. This is Mr Lim's second Singaporean award, the first one being the Public Service Medal (Pingat Bakti Masyarakat - PBM) received in 2001.
The Customs Affairs Institute (CAI) has continued to be active over the summer to gather solid feedback on how to better harmonize and streamline customs systems worldwide, including leveraging lessons learned from COVID-19, Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes, and the use of technology and single windows to submit data. This feedback has been instrumental to FIATA’s work in the World Customs Organization (WCO) Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) and its participation in the newly-formed WCO sub-working group on AEO.
Meanwhile, the Working Group Sea Transport (WG Sea) has continued to address the need to ensure a fair and level playing field. The landmark decision of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on the reasonableness of demurrage and detention charges has worldwide implications, and must be promoted by FIATA members in their national contexts. FIATA will soon be releasing a toolkit to equip its members to do so. In addition, the WG Sea Chair will also be available to present on the decision to FIATA regional groups, starting with the Region Europe meeting on 2 September 2020.
Following the merger of the Advisory Body for Vocational Training (ABVT) and the FIATA Logistics Academy (FLA), the new FIATA Logistics Institute (FLI) has continued the transition process from activities in the two legacy bodies as well as developing the policy elements of FLI and its administrative base. The FLI will bring all education and training initiatives under one umbrella. It will be organized around workstreams which will mirror the existing activities in the area of training and education and to develop new training initiatives.
The FIATA head office is now calling Member Associations to nominate delegates and deputies to the FLI. To achieve the best possible results, it is critical that the FLI has the appropriate human resource knowledgeable on professional development and training activities to be actively involved in the affairs of FLI. The work of the FLI will be launched beginning of 2021, following the nomination of the FLI Chair at the General Meeting in December 2020.
The second Working Group meeting dedicated to FIATA’s digital identity project took place on 13 August. The session’s main objective was to give an overview of the different existing digital identity systems to the participants. Three systems focusing on different aspects of digital identity were presented:
Based on these complimentary presentations, the FIATA head office will draft an initial specification of the functional domains to be covered. This will be presented during the next Working Group meeting, taking place on 14 September.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIATA has decided to cancel all its international meetings until further notice. All meetings continue to take place regularly through videoconferencing systems, such as Zoom.