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Secretary General's Message: Some notes from AirCargo 2018 in Austin

Friday, March 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Some notes from AirCargo 2018 in Austin, 19-20 February

It’s the first time TIACA Secretary General attended an annual meeting, of the Airforwarders Association Membership Meeting (AfA) in the capacity of a partner, having signed an MoU on cooperation a few months ago. Naturally, the AfA Board and members wanted to know how TIACA interprets the intentions spelled out in the Memorandum, what are the current issues, objectives and views of TIACA.

With the AfA Board Chairman, Chris Connell leading the session, Brandon Fried, AfA Secretary General, Michael White, newly confirmed Head of CNS and I had a very lively discussion on the most topical issues ranging from the changing “moving the boxes” environment to the impediments which don’t allow the industry to become more efficient and prosperous.

It’s not my intention tore-tell the stimulating exchanges. I want to acknowledge with gratitude the responsive audience who very positively reacted to my proposal to share the examples of difficulties they experience in dealing with Customs, especially, Chinese Customs. You will recall that I reported to you recently that the China Vice-Minister of Customs and I agreed that I would give him suggestions on the improvements in their Customs Regulations.

I am placing the received examples below. Why? – I want to encourage you to share as well – the same way as my first respondents did. We can help ourselves to reduce the current obstacles only by tackling concrete situations. Obviously, I will be using information received in a very discreet manner without names of individuals, locations or businesses.

“…. there seems to be lack of consistency and clarity about customs duties and practices. Sometimes the duty for [name of the product] is as much as 35% and under other circumstances it is waived. This is for private individuals only. There is a completely different set of rules when dealing with a public entity. It makes it very difficult for us to advise our clients on what to expect when shipping to or selling anything to China.

The other issue that we have come across is that carnets are issued for 6 months – as opposed to a year like most international carnets. When works are sent here for exhibition, this is too short a turnaround and causes problems.”


I am of course not reporting on the event as such, though I should mention that it was an extremely dynamic, useful and well organized one, but I have to single out one session which was highlighting the empowerment of women in the industry. Women in Cargo Networking Event, sponsored by Air Canada, will be remembered as a colorful presentation that was well thought out and witty and included light-hearted comments. All this led me and other men in attendance to the understanding that there is no “gender issue” in the Kingdom of Freight Forwarders. The composition of the AfA Board, in front of which I spoke, is yet another testament to it. This already leads TIACA Chairman, Vice-chairman and me to some serious considerations.....

Vladimir Zubkov

Secretary General

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