AUSTRALIA: Merger of forwarder bodies scrapped Downunder

Discussions around a merger of Australia’s forwarding and customs broking industry bodies has broken off after the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) rejected a ‘Single Industry Body'(SIB) proposal which would have amalgamated it with the Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF). The CBFCA cited “costs and few benefits” for its decision. The […]


Discussions around a merger of Australia’s forwarding and customs broking industry bodies has broken off after the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) rejected a ‘Single Industry Body'(SIB) proposal which would have amalgamated it with the Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF). The CBFCA cited “costs and few benefits” for its decision. The AFIF Board, meanwhile, expressed disappointment with the CBFCA Board’s decision not to support the formation of the unified association. In a statement to members issued on 21 November, AFIF chairman Paul Golland said: “We believe that bringing together the strengths of both associations to form a powerful SIB is in the best interests of all stakeholders in our industry”. The AFIF noted that both organisations had already spent a great deal of money using professional mediators to arrive at the prospectus that was rejected by the CBFCA Board. The Prospectus will now be available to the CBFCA members who will be given an opportunity to have their say and vote on the opportunity to form an SIB through a referendum process in 2011. “Whilst there is a cost involved in bringing an SIB to fruition, the AFIF Board’s position is that the cost is not prohibitive and is affordable by the respective associations. The cost is far outweighed by the long lasting benefits of a combined representative body for the industry,” added Golland. The AFIF said it will continue its efforts to encourage the CBFCA Board and its members to pursue the SIB future vision. Previously, the outgoing CBFCA chairman Darryl Sharp said the merger would not be easy, but was “very achievable”. Sharp added at the time that he was pleased that, after eight years on the CBFCA Board, he could see the current “disciplined approach” to the merger with the AFIF meant it had “every chance to finally succeed”.