E-Flash No. 120 - 19 February 2016
1. Register to the FIATA Headquarters' Session 2016 before deadline on 4th March 2016
The next Headquarters' Session will take place between March 17th and March 20th 2016. This yearly HQ session is a special occasion for information exchange and debate amongst Members and between the FIATA secretariat and all our Members. Please take a look at the programme and use the registration form, both available on the FIATA website:
This year we will host our event at a new venue, the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. Please register before 4th March 2016 if you wish to attend.
2. Are you looking for an intern?
It is of great pleasure to the FIATA Logistics Academy to invite FIATA Association Members to look at Talent Connect, the platform for the international interns' exchange. This platform allows both associate and individual members of FIATA to search through our database, with the goal of finding bright new candidates to work as interns in one of the countries covered by the wide FIATA network of members. For more information: http://fiatalearning.com/talent-connect-explained
3. FLA & edX increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere
Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) provider, offering high-quality courses from the world's best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. The FLA Chairperson met with the Dean of the Digital Centre to dialogue on ways to bring edX closer to the freight forwarding and logistics community. We are happy to share with you the edX courses that are most relevant for our industry: http://www.fiatalearning.com/edX
4. DG Azevedo welcomes Cote Divoire's Efforts in Trade Facilitation
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo visited Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, today (16 February) as part of his current visit to West Africa. The Director-General met with President Alassane Ouattara, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, Minister of Trade Jean-Louis Billon and other senior government representatives to welcome Côte d'Ivoire's leadership on trade facilitation and discuss how the WTO can complement initiatives to support the country's development.
For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news16_e/dgra_16feb16_e.htm
5. Cambodia ratifies trade facilitation agreement
Cambodia has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), becoming the 8th least-developed country to do so. Cambodia deposited its TFA instrument of acceptance with the WTO Secretariat on 12 February.
This makes Cambodia the 69th WTO member to ratify the TFA. The Agreement will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement. To read more please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news16_e/fac_12feb16_e.htm
6. Thailand is third WTO member to accept the TRIPS Agreement in 2016
Thailand deposited its instrument of acceptance for the 2005 protocol amending the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on 28 January 2016, becoming the third WTO member to do so in 2016. Thailand accepted the amendment after several years of debate at the national level.
The protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement, which was adopted in 2005, is intended to make it easier for poorer WTO members to access affordable medicines. The protocol allows exporting countries to grant compulsory licenses to their generic suppliers to manufacture and export medicines to countries that cannot manufacture the needed medicines themselves. To read more please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news16_e/trip_28jan16_e.htm
7. Towards Africa's own mega-regional: The CFTA
The first negotiating session of the Continental Free Trade Area negotiations will take place later this month, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission has announced. This first set of negotiations will lay the groundwork for upcoming substantive negotiations throughout this year until 2017, the indicative deadline for the establishment of a Continental FTA across Africa.
The Tripartite FTA, a stepping stone bringing together Africa's three major regional economic communities in preparation for the CFTA, was signed into force in June of last year. To read more please visit: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges-africa/news/towards-africas-own-mega-regional-the-cfta
8. Importance of Standard: UNECE standards help Namibia export grapes to Europe
Last December, for the first time ever, containers with grapes left the port of Lüderitz, Namibia, bound for Europe - and they all complied with the quality requirements set out in UNECE's agricultural standards.
While such shipments are everyday business for neighbouring and highly successful fruit exporter South Africa, for arid Namibia with erratic rainfall and dry spells, exporting to Europe and being able to meet and inspect marketing and quality requirements was a huge step forward. To read more please visit: http://www.unece.org/info/media/news/trade/2016/unece-standards-help-namibia-export-grapes-to-europe/doc.html
9. EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement Now Available Online
The European Commission today published the text of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Vietnam, following the conclusion of the negotiating process in December 2015.
The Vietnam agreement includes all of the key provisions of the new Investment Court System for EU trade and investment negotiations proposed by the European Commission. To read more please visit: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1449
10. US, Italy Leaders Push for TTIP Outcome Amid Questions over Timeline
The twelfth TTIP round is set to take place from 22-26 February in Brussels, Belgium, with subsequent meetings planned for April and July. During this upcoming round, US and EU are expected to discuss their initial public procurement offers - the third pillar of the market access talks, which also includes goods tariffs and services - along with discussing for the first time the EU's proposal for an investment court, among various other topics.
The EU had not formally tabled the proposal within the TTIP negotiating context. Now that it has, trade watchers will be looking to see how the US responds and whether the EU would be willing to revise aspects of the proposal, and if so in what way. They do not have an updated timeline to share at this stage however the TTIP is an Obama Administration priority. More will come after the Brussels meeting later this month. To read more please visit: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/us-italy-leaders-push-for-ttip-outcome-amid-questions-over-timeline
11. ICAO Environment Committee Wraps Up Landmark 10th Meeting
The ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) concluded its landmark 10th Meeting at ICAO Headquarters in Montreal on Feb 12th, with progress recorded in a number of critical areas.
CAEP/10 was the first time that recommendations for two emissions standards were able to be finalised, paving the way for cleaner aircraft that have less impact on the global climate. An important Particulate Matter (ultrafine soot particles) Standard was one of these, while the second was the much awaited aircraft CO2 emissions design Standard, the first global Standard for CO2 emissions for any sector.
A methodology to quantify air cargo CO2 emissions was also approved. This complements the ICAO carbon calculator for passenger air travel emissions and is our new contribution to the UNEMG. To read more on the achievements please visit: http://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Environment-Committee-Wraps-up-Landmark-10th-Meeting.aspx
12. FAA Urges Airlines to Assess Lithium Battery Risks
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a safety alert to U.S. and foreign commercial passenger and cargo airlines, urging them to conduct a safety risk assessment to manage the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries as cargo.
FAA also is issuing guidance to its own inspectors to help them determine whether the airlines have adequately assessed the risk of handling and carrying lithium batteries as cargo. The FAA's Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) (PDF) encourages airlines that previously conducted safety assessments to re-evaluate them in light of new evidence from the agency's recent lithium battery fire tests. To read more please visit: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=84785
13. UNECE: Statistics of Road Traffic Accidents in Europe and North America
Between 2003 and 2013, the total number of fatalities in road traffic accidents decreased by more than 30 per cent in the UNECE region, reaching 108,857 in 2013. This trend was particularly pronounced between 2007 and 2010 with average annual decreases of more than 8 per cent.
In 2013, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands had the lowest number of fatalities per capita with Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan having the highest rates. This publication provides comparable data on causes, types and results of accidents in Europe, Canada and the United States. To read more please visit: http://www.unece.org/info/media/news/statistics/2016/statistics-of-road-traffic-accidents-in-europe-and-north-america/doc.html
14. UN SG's Special Envoy for Road Safety and UNECE call on Governments and the automotive industry to implement UN road safety legal instruments
The United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, and UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach call on Governments and the automotive industry to implement the United Nations road safety legal instruments. The call was made today at a meeting with the Geneva press corps.
Over the past decades, under the auspices of UNECE, the United Nations has developed many conventions governing most aspects of road safety. These legal instruments are in place and at the disposal of countries to help them build safer vehicles and safer roads, with consistent traffic rules and road signs. To read more please visit: http://www.unece.org/info/media/presscurrent-press-h/transport/2016/un-sgs-special-envoy-for-road-safety-and-unece-call-on-governments-and-the-automotive-industry-to-implement-un-road-safety-legal-instruments/doc.html
15. UNECE and OSCE support discussions on optimization of cargo flows along Euro-Asian corridors
How to improve inland transport connectivity between Europe and Asia? What are the specific needs of producers, shippers, traders and freight forwarders along Euro-Asian routes? These were the main themes discussed by transport officials, representatives of the private sector and academia, and experts from Germany, Poland, the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Iran, at a seminar organized under UNECE's project on Euro-Asian Transport Links (EATL).
For more information on the event please visit: http://www.unece.org/info/media/news/transport/2016/unece-and-osce-support-discussions-on-optimization-of-cargo-flows-along-euro-asian-corridors/doc.html
16. UN/CEFACT and the SDGs
The activities carried out by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) can provide an important contribution to the achievement of the SDGs.
Electronic tools like the Single Window and paperless trade systems promoted by UN/CEFACT make it easier for companies to trade, while reducing the need for paper forms and increasing Government revenue collection. To learn how UN/CEFACT can play a role in achieving the SDGs, read their new publication available at: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=41546
17. EU: Nearly €2 billion requested for H2020 transport research projects
The Mobility for Growth 2016 call (first of two stages, deadline on 20 January) offers €174 million in total EU contribution for the best projects providing innovative solutions in all transport areas. In total 11 topics were open for submission.
293 project proposals have been submitted for this call requesting in total €1.4 billion. To read more please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/newsletters/2016/02-15/articles/h2020_research_en.htm