BAFFA delivers impressive 38TheCM in Dhaka

The Federation of Asia Pacific Aircargo Association (FAPAA) has wrapped up its 38Thexecutive Council Meeting after two days of networking and discussions on solutions to the various issues and problems facing air freight forwarders represented by the associations of the 18 member-state/territories of FAPAA. Hosted by the newly formed Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFFA), the […]


The Federation of Asia Pacific Aircargo Association (FAPAA) has wrapped up its 38Thexecutive Council Meeting after two days of networking and discussions on solutions to the various issues and problems facing air freight forwarders represented by the associations of the 18 member-state/territories of FAPAA. Hosted by the newly formed Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFFA), the delegates were treated to an exemplary programme that, aside from the formal business meetings and networking events, included a gala dinner with traditional and modern Bangladesh cultural shows. “BAFFA have shown that they’ve got what it takes to put on a world class event,” commented FAPAA executive director, Brian Lovell. The FAPAA meeting, chaired by TAFA Chinese Taipei delegate and FAPAA Chairman, Samson Pao were opened on 27 June by Bangladesh’s Minister for Trade and Commerce Muhammed Faruk Khan. In his opening address, the Minister said: “Freight forwarders are some of the most important people when you talk about business.” He added that in the current financial year which runs from July 1010 to June 2011, Bangladesh enjoyed a healthy export trade totaling US$22 billion, that with imports included, amount to nearly US$50 billion he said as he congratulated the freight forwarders for their role to play in that valuable trade. The Minister also expressed pride in having the international delegates in Dhaka and praised the international associations for having the trust in BAFFA and the Bangladesh Tourism Board to provide a safe environment for the meeting. FAPAA also expressed its pleasure at having the China International Forwarders Association (CIFA), attend as an observer. CIFA has given an expression of interest to join the Federation once they receive the necessary Chinese government approvals. The meeting also saw a more somber moment, with delegates and guests rising for a minute of silence for longtime FAPAA member and friend, Wally Nahr who passed away unexpectedly in February this year. Key issues Among the key issues discussed at the FAPAA ECM, an update on recent FIATA meetings was given, highlighting the fact that FIATA “continues to push for a more realistic commercial relationship between forwarders and airlines”. The dismal failure to reach a consensus with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) over training accreditation put paid to those ambitions once again. Payload Asia understands legal action is now likely between IATA and FIATA over the training issue. The update also noted issues with the European Import Control System (ICS) which is the electronic security declaration management system for the importation of goods into the European Union customs territory which came into force at the end of 2010, with a grace period up until 1 July 2011. Key to this is the Entry Summary Declaration which forwarders must submit to customs authorities for security-related risk analysis. IATA has appealed to FIATA to encourage its members to comply with the requirements, noting that EU customs authorities have reported numerous instances where Master and House Waybill information was not suffi ciently detailed and hence not in compliance with the requirements. Singapore Aircargo Agents Association (SAAA) delegate, Alec Koh noted that there had not been enough communication between the carriers and the forwarders on this issue. It was noted that FAPAA will keep an eye on the situation to gauge how the EU customs authorities react and whether they begin to impose fines for failure to fully comply. In terms of FIATA, the meeting was also informed by the delegation from India that while important issues had been raised with FIATA, in their view, the issues had not received enough attention. Adding his opinion – and one which garnered much agreement – Koh said: “We try to support FIATA as much as possible, we feed them with information, but we don’t get feedback.” e-Air waybill The meeting also received detailed information and updates from IATA, on their project to implement the e-air way bill (e-AWB) by 2014. Hong Kong shared its experience of early implementation with Cathay Pacific Airways. Discussions around the more extensive IATA e-freight project were also held and the members shared their experience and views, but agreed that that e-AWB was more relevant and achievable in the short term. Lovell noted that while he was pleased to see IATA focusing on the e-AWB, “perhaps it is for others to implement e-Freight, other than IATA.” CASS The ever-contentious issue of IATA’s Cargo Account Settlement Systems (CASS) was also discussed, with most participants agreeing that this had been “bull-dozed” into implementation by IATA and there was little option other than to “accept it and live with it,” in what was described as “reluctant acceptance”. One of the key issues with CASS is the requirement for forwarders to provide, not only financial reviews of their companies, but often onerous bank guarantees. It was highlighted by the Bangladesh delegates and others that this would likely impede the ability to comply with the e-AWB. But in a recent development in Europe, FIATA with key involvement by the British International Freight Association (BIFA), has won important concessions from IATA CASS with the abolition of the requirement for financial reviews and also the requirement for bank guarantees. It’s not clear what impact that development will have on forwarders in the Asia Pacific region. Security The FAPAA Executive Council voted by a majority to no longer have a specific Security Adviser position, preferring to share information and knowledge around each individual country, along with receiving input from FIATA, to which most FAPAA members belong. The Council noted the importance of security issues for all its members and expressed its hope that former-Security Adviser David Fielder would continue to share certain information through his Advisory Board Security position at FIATA.