THE FEDERATION of Asia Pacific Aircargo Associations (FAPAA) called on the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) to move faster on establishing a program to bring regulations for air cargo forwarding in the region into the modern era.

FAPAA is a regional body that brings together representative air cargo associations from its 19 member countries, including Australia.

At the recent FIATA HQ meeting, held between 18 and 21 March in Geneva, Switzerland, FAPAA’s Keshav Tanna said FAPAA was disappointed at the cancellation of the IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Programme (IFACP).

The IFACP was first announced in 2016, and aimed to involve forwarders as equal partners in the decision-making process for rules in the industry. It was based on the idea that freight forwarders had changed from being “selling agents” for airlines to being “purchasing customers”.

“Asia Pacific being one of the largest areas volume wise feels it has been left out of any or all program upgrades. We feel that our region more than any other needs a single global programme,” Mr Tanna said.

“Europe obtained the EACP [European Air Cargo Programme] over a decade ago with a clear understanding that if successful it would be rolled out globally. Only Canada got it thereafter.”

“Asia Pacific still has to operate under the age old Resolution 801 and 809, which have been in exitance since 50 years or more. For companies operating across the region this is not good business having to comply with so many different regulations, particularly since the forwarder no longer acts merely as the agent of the airlines but the relationship in today’s modern era is that od a customer and a supplier.”

Mr Tanna said the time for these programmes to be introduced into the Asia Pacific has past, as these are now outdated and not fit for purpose but they should have been introduced a long time ago into our region

“The time of freight forwarders being agents to the airlines has long past we should be seen as partners to the airlines and deserve a programme that reflects this. In other words, we need a single global programme, sooner rather than later and feel the negotiations toward this have rather stalled despite over five years of time.”

International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia (IFCBAA) vice-chair Paul Golland is also the chair of FAPAA. He said FIATA and IATA had been invited to FAPAA’s annual meeting in Bali in June to address FAPAA members on progress towards a single air cargo program.

“All members of FAPAA agree that the introduction of a single air program in the most important development for the forwarding industry in the region” Mr Golland said.

“We have members who operate across the region and have to follow numerous resolutions even though their European or Latin American offices all operate the same way.

“We urge FIATA and IATA to come to an agreement on the single industry programme and introduce it sooner rather than later, which will be a benefit to the whole industry worldwide, but particularly Asia Pacific”.