1. How can I check if any company (including mine) is an Individual Member of FIATA?

The names and addresses of all freight forwarding companies and Association Members affiliated to FIATA are listed in the FIATA Online Members Directory, containing 110 Association Members in 101 countries and more than 5300 individual members in 165 countries. FIATA’s unique Members Directory is only available on the FIATA website.

This directory of qualified freight forwarders and logistics providers is continuously updated and can be freely consulted by anyone.

2. Do I have to be a member of an Association Member in my country to get my application for FIATA Membership accepted?

The FIATA Statutes in this regard stipulate that it requires the written approval of the competent Association Member. Article 4.4.1 of the FIATA Statutes reads as follows: 

“The acceptance of membership of a forwarding enterprise requires the written approval of the Association Member of the country or the region from where the application is made.” 

More details on the FIATA Statutes can be found under the following link.

As far as individual Association Members are concerned, please contact them directly to know what their requirements are or what their statutes imply with regards to their approval process.

3. What does the donation of CHF 25.00 on our FIATA Membership invoice stand for?

The amount of CHF 25.00 mentioned on the invoice is a voluntary/optional addition to FIATA membership fees. This amount goes towards supporting the FIATA Foundation Vocational Training, an institution which aims to assist Associations in less privileged countries to build up and enhance professional skills in the industry.  

More information about the FIATA Foundation vocational training is available at the following link. <<

4. How can I renew my FIATA Membership? When will I get an invoice for the next year?

The invoice for FIATA Membership (renewal) is always sent by the beginning of January and should be paid as soon as possible in order to receive the certificate and benefit from this distinction. It must be paid no later than the 31st of May of the membership year. Members who fail to pay for their membership fee in due time can be automatically excluded. <<

5. Concerning the delivery of FIATA material, books and/or certificates, how long is the delivery period for regular airmail?

Regular airmail is a postal service provided by various postal services of countries and/or regions. This service does not cater for traceable deliveries and therefore no tracking number is assigned to the documents or parcel sent. Please note that documents and parcels sent by regular airmail can NOT be traced.

FIATA cannot accept responsibility for the timely delivery of documents or parcels sent by regular airmail from Switzerland to your location. FIATA has no control over such postal services. 

Should you wish to make use of delivery and transportation options which offer additional services such as tracking and tracing, please consider making use of the services offered by any courier service provider. <<

6. I have not received our Membership Certificate. What should I do?

If you did not opt for courier delivery and your membership certificate has not been delivered to you even after 6 or more weeks since it was first issued, please get in contact with us. FIATA will re-issue your FIATA Certificate and send it to you once again by regular airmail as a courtesy gesture.

Please note that FIATA can re-send your membership certificate with compliments by regular airmail a maximum of 2 times in any calendar year. At the third attempt we strongly encourage you to make use of a courier service. <<

7. We have changed our company details, how can I get our details changed on the FIATA Members Directory?

FIATA relies on its members for up to date information regarding their company details, and any changes to their information data elements. Please send an email to info@fiata.com informing us of any changes and we will update our records accordingly. <<

8. Our company name has been changed, how can I get it changed on the FIATA Members Directory?

Your company’s name cannot change without generating the assumption that the company is a different one. To register a change in the name of your company, in particular, but not limited to when a change in type of incorporation occurs (e.g. Ltd, LLC, PLC, etc.), a FIATA Individual Membership Application Form must be completed and submitted to FIATA for acceptance.

Kindly contact FIATA at info@fiata.com. <<

9. What is Freight Forwarding? What do forwarders do?

The official description of freight forwarding and logistics services has been adopted and published by FIATA in 2004 and is still current: 

Freight Forwarding and Logistics Services 

"Freight Forwarding and Logistic Services" means services of any kind relating to the carriage (performed by single mode or multimodal transport means), consolidation, storage, handling, packing or distribution of the goods as well as ancillary and advisory services in connection therewith, including but not limited to customs and fiscal matters, declaring the goods for official purposes, procuring insurance of the goods and collecting or procuring payment or documents relating to the goods. Freight Forwarding Services also include logistic services with modern information and communication technology in connection with the carriage, handling or storage of the goods, and de facto total supply chain management. These services can be tailored to meet the flexible application of the services provided.

Freight forwarding is all about the facilitation of international trade. The freight forwarder is the party who ensures that internationally traded goods move from point of origin to point of destination to arrive:

  • at the right place;
  • at the right time;
  • in good condition; and

  • at the most economical cost.

 To accomplish this, expertise is required in a number of different areas:


Close co-operation is required with transporters in every mode – road, rail, sea and air. Freight forwarders are constantly negotiating freight rates and service conditions with transport providers, comparing the costs of moving cargo along different routes via different modes and then designing logistics service chains, which provide the best compromise between cost, speed and reliability.

Regulatory compliance

A vital ingredient to successfully trading between world markets is that every transaction must comply with many regulatory measures and requirements, sometimes carrying fairly complex procedures, especially those associated with Customs and security. In the area of regulatory compliance the specialised skills and knowledge of the freight forwarder come to the fore. Traders who avail themselves of the service of skilled freight forwarders find the assistance they need to make their trade efficient, secure and compliant.

Risk Management

To every international trade transaction there is an element of risk and the increased complexity of international trading as compared to local buying and selling requires that these risks are managed with tools which are correspondingly more sophisticated. International traders require that their forwarders be in position to advise and assist them in minimising those risks which are particularly associated with the movement of goods – loss, damage and destruction, although the exposure of forwarders to the international environment in its entirety makes their counsel as regards matters like credit and currency risks very much sought after.

Finance and Payment

Forwarders are entrusted with goods which are often dispatched under conditions where buyer and seller are not known to one another. Under these circumstances the forwarder must scrupulously ensure that all requirements of the door to door operation are fully complied with, especially in the accurate and timely production of documentation is concerned – excellence in this field leads to prompt settlement for goods purchased and satisfied traders. An especially gratifying aspect of freight forwarding is the facilitation, through consultancy and networking, of the entry of new exporters and importers into new markets. More often than not this involves advice as to alternative methods of financing of the transactions concerned and the establishment of payment methods that are mutually beneficial to both parties.

Cross functional integration

The forwarder is ideally placed to act as the catalyst to maximise the benefit from advances in information technology which are revolutionising modern traders’ processes. Furthermore the role of the forwarder will be key because, in adopting cross functional integration strategies, companies are increasingly outsourcing their non-core activities. The ability to ensure the efficient and effective door-to-door movement of goods from country to country from the time an order is placed until finished goods are delivered to the intended consignee places the freight forwarder in a position to make a unique contribution to the enhancement of the value of the traded goods. <<

10. How can my company obtain FIATA Documents and Forms?

FIATA has created the following documents and forms:  

  • FIATA Forwarders Certificate of Receipt

  • FIATA Forwarders Certificate of Transport

  • FIATA Warehouse Receipt

  • FIATA Forwarding Instructions

  • Negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading

  • Non-negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Waybill

  • Shipper’s Intermodal Weight Certification

  • Shipper’s Declaration for the Transport of Dangerous Goods


To maintain the worldwide reputation and acceptance of FIATA documents by international trade, the issuance of these documents by freight forwarders has to be controlled by the Association Members affiliated to FIATA. Responsibility for the printing and distribution of FIATA documents therefore rests with Association Members of FIATA in their respective countries and/or regions.  

You may contact our Association Member in your country and/or region, from where you can obtain the relevant documents. The documents will be made available to you providing: the association in question is a member of FIATA, it has introduced the document to your country, and your company fulfils the requirements related to the document concerned. FIATA documents are not available to any freight forwarder in a country where FIATA has no Association Member.

To inform you about our documents and forms, FIATA has published the brochure "Documents and Forms", which can be ordered online. <<

11. Our company has a problem with another freight forwarder, who can help us?

FIATA has a list of accredited legal service providers in different countries, who are often also FIATA individual members, but it is offering its Individual Members an arbitration code which will permit disputes between FIATA members to be settled at a relatively low cost without going through the law courts.

It is an extremely simple arbitration code which will permit disputes among Individual Members to be settled as rapidly, simply and cheaply as possible. The key elements of this arbitration code are that the arbitration tribunal will be made up of representatives from FIATA's Extended Board or Advisory Body Legal Matters, i.e. people from the forwarding business; the arbitration tribunal will only take a decision if both parties have accepted the arbitration code in writing; the procedure will generally be conducted in writing and in English (no travel costs); and it will be extremely affordable (between US$500 and US$3000 for the written procedure).

For more information please contact: Mr. Stephen Morris, Acting Director General of the FIATA Secretariat. <<

12. A career in freight forwarding

International trade is more and more crucial in each country’s economic success. The intimate relationship which the forwarding industry has with world trade means that this industry opens a number of exciting career opportunities to the young and enterprising. << 

13. Is FIATA offering training courses in Freight Forwarding and Logistics in general?

FIATA offers the availability of a number of local and regional training centres in conjunction with its Association Members in several countries all over the world. Association Members’ are listed on the FIATA website and can be approached directly. If you have not found your Association Member of choice on the website, please contact the Secretariat in Zurich so that you may receive the required guidance. <<


10 December 2013

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