FIATA ADDRESSING THE INDUSTRY
Submit your story to FIATA to help inspire the industry
Today, when uncertainties are at their peak, freight forwarders must continue to operate and adapt their organisations to maintain the flow of essential goods. Throughout their efforts, FIATA has heard countless stories of its members engaging in heroic activity, whether it be moving a container of medical equipment to supply a hospital or providing emergency cargo that helps keep grocery stores stocked during the lockdown.
Such stories of hope need to be told, especially as society and economies rely on our industry to keep the engines moving. Should you have a story you wish to share with us, please do submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in upcoming e-flashes.
Extension of carriage of dangerous goods by air certification
As the result of the training difficulties arising from COVID-19 as for persons holding or wishing to acquire dangerous goods by a certification, noting that training as recurrent dangerous goods training has been severely constrained, many regulatory agencies in States have issued temporary extensions to existing dangerous goods training qualifications.
As to this issue, FIATA has addressed with IATA the need for an early decision to extend the dangerous certification to which were to expire in the near future and to address an appropriate timeframe noting the uncertainty of the impact of COVID-19.
To read FIATA’s full response, please visit: https://fiata.com/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Diverses/Extension_of_carriage_of_dangerous_goods_by_air_certification.pdf
Invoking force majeure in the coronavirus crisis: Some practical tips
On 25 March 2020, CEVA Logistics released a declaration of force majeure stating: “The COVID-19 virus and the necessary response measures being taken by governments are entirely outside the control of CEVA Logistics. As they were unforeseeable, they fall within the definition of ‘Force Majeure’ – the principles of which are universally recognised in business and enshrined in law.”
Force majeure clauses will often stipulate a certain standard of performance to trigger operation of the clause, establishing in all cases a direct causal link between the triggering event and the inability to perform.
To read FIATA’s full response, please visit: https://fiata.com/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Position_Papers/Force_Majeure_Coronavirus_FIATA__position_paper.pdf
UNECE launches Observatory on Border Crossings Status due to COVID-19
To facilitate the work of transport operators and preserve connectivity by keeping supply chains working as smoothly as possible, UNECE is launching an “Observatory on Border Crossings Status due to COVID-19” which gathers all updated information regarding border crossing limitations worldwide.
This online observatory will provide available information on the situation, updated directly by countries – national customs’ focal point and national members of the International Road Transport Union (IRU); the transport sector; and the European Commission.
To learn more please visit: https://www.unece.org/info/media/presscurrent-press-h/transport/2020/unece-launches-observatory-on-border-crossings-status-due-to-covid-19-and-calls-on-all-countries-to-facilitate-flow-of-goods-to-maximum-extent-possible/doc.html
IRU – Daily updates on freight and passenger transport
As COVID-19 continues to evolve, IRU is closely monitoring the status of border crossings in affected areas and provides a daily update broken down by country. This resource, which refreshes daily, is based on input provided by IRU’s member network.
To access the daily update please visit: https://www.iru.org/apps/flash-getfile-action?id=889&file=coronavirus-covid-19-1604.pdf
Border crossing daily updates in Europe
Gebrüder Weiss is monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on logistics, especially at pertain to border crossing in regards to freight. For example, in Austria they report according to the state police department Tirol, the border crossing point Reit im Winkl is open for goods transports from 5-7am and 6-8pm. The border crossing point Ehrwald-Schanz is also open for movement of goods at the same time.
In Czech Republic, all transport to and from the country are possible. However some delays are expected at the borders, since health checks are carried out and smaller border crossings are closed until 24 April 2020. Driving times and rest periods have been suspended for at least 30 days from now on. Additionally, the ban on driving trucks on Sundays was lifted. As of 26 March 2020, the borders will be closed to cross-border workers as well.
To remain updated on these events please visit: https://www.gw-world.com/news/press-releases/news/update-coronavirus-covid-19/
COVID-19 global port restrictions map
With the COVID-19 outbreak, ports are imposing various restrictions on vessels and crew. Wilhelmsen has released an interactive map that allows users to click on each port or country to view port restrictions.
In India, for example, medical screening of all crew from affected countries will be conducted after berthing. If no COVID-19 symptoms –are detected, cargo operations will be allowed to commence 14 days from the date that the crew member travelled to those countries.
The map is updated up to three times per day and can be viewed here: https://www.wilhelmsen.com/ships-agency/campaigns/coronavirus/coronavirus-map/
Port updates – Impact on shipping
The North has provided a breakdown of port operations which is updated daily. Updates such as the port of Rotterdam remains operational with cargo handling and production continuing unabated.
In Nigeria, the ports of Warri and Port Harcourt continue to operate normally but activity is challenged by restrictions imposed by the state on “social distancing”, logistic challenges to move around and “stay home” directives. Ports Authority announced a suspension of demurrage/terminal storage fees and charges with effect from 23 March 2020.
To access the resources please visit: https://www.nepia.com/industry-news/coronavirus-outbreak-impact-on-shipping/
Ocean service adjustments during COVID-19
As of 3 April 2020, some 149 blank sailings have been announced on deep sea shipping routes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these, 108 were announced between Chinese New Year and mid-March, as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolded in China.
The remaining 41 announcements were made after 13 March (week 11), once the spate of infections caused by the coronavirus had been declared a pandemic.
To access the resources please visit: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109662/blank-sailing-announcements-weekly/
Stay updated on customs changes directly via government websites
Customs authorities around the world have had to balance safety for personnel and the continued flow of essential goods. To facilitate their work, customs authorities attempt to keep stakeholders updated through their government websites.
Below are a list of major trading economies where customs regulations can be tracked:
• United Kingdom – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-goods-through-customs-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19
Joint WCO/WHO HS classification list for COVID-19 medical supplies issued
To respond to the unprecedented demand in medical supplies amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and World Health Organization (WHO) updated the HS Classification Reference for COVID-19 Medical Supplies in a more structured and user-friendly format, to reflect more of the products that would be required as cited by professional.
The updated list is provided as an indicative list with a view to facilitating the classification of COVID-19 medical supplies at the international level (6 digit of the HS). Economic operators are kindly advised to consult with the relevant customs administrations in relation to classification at domestic levels (seven or more digits) or in the event of any discrepancy between their practices and this list.
COVID-19 tax developments in EMA
KPMG published reports of tax developments in response to COVID-19 in Europe, Middle East and Africa. An example from the report includes an update on UAE extending the due date for filing the excise tax return and for paying excise tax for the month of March 2020 by one month (from 15 April to 17 May 2020).
Another example is the report on South African Revenue Services announcing that importation of essential goods will be exempt from Value Added Tax. To access the resources please visit: https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-tax-developments-in-ema.html
ICAO – Global COVID-19 airport status
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has released an application that provides daily status report on the activities of airport. Updates include flight departures and restrictions broken down by country. Their tool reports activity by airport, for example, in Finland only cargo flights for which a border guard has issued a border crossing permit are allowed at airports Enontekio, Ivalo Joensuu, Jyvaskyla, Kajaani, Vaasa, etc.
To view the application please visit: https://www.icao.int/safety/Pages/COVID-19-Airport-Status.aspx
IATA – Cargo tracker newsletter
The cargo tracker newsletter from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides regular updates on their cargo agenda:
• Updates on regulations or handling of special cargoes: dangerous goods and lithium batteries, live animals, perishables, and time and temperature sensitive products
For further details please visit: https://www.icao.int/safety/Pages/COVID-19-Airport-Status.aspx
COVID-19 case by country tracker
COVID-19 is affecting 210 countries and territories around the world and two international conveyances. To stay updated on the confirmed cases and health situation by country please reference: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
IMF economic policy tracker
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a policy tracker which summarizes the key economic responses governments are taking to limit the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tracker includes 193 economies.
For example, the tracker reported on China allocating an estimated RMB 2.6 trillion (or 2.5% of GDP) of fiscal measures or financing plans have been announced, of which 1.2% of GDP are already being implemented.
For details on the tool please visit Agility Global Shipping Updates: COVID-19.
Agility by country trade updates
Agility provides an updated daily view of logistics restrictions by country and mode. An example includes reporting on air freight capacity from the U.S. to Europe being constraint with 40-50% cargo capacity reduction.
In the UAE, air freight to Africa is significantly constraint with 80-90% cargo capacity reduction on passenger flights and 30-40% reduction in by freight cancellations. For ocean freight, UAE’s Africa trade lane is operating at normal capacity with no shortages.
For those interested to receive high-level updates please visit Agility Global Shipping Updates: COVID-19.
Please be advised that the above are a collection of commentaries in the media to provide an overview of what industry stakeholders are reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak.