Today (18 July) both organizations have announced the implementation of a new IATA-FIATA cargo scheme (IFACP) replacing the outdated IATA Cargo Agency program. It is based on the recognition that over decades freight forwarders have evolved from being airline “sales agents” to their “purchasing customers.”
The new program moves decision-making on the rules governing the airline-forwarder relationship away from an airline-led conference to a governance body - the IATA-FIATA Governance Board -
jointly managed by forwarders and airlines, which reflects today’s market conditions. “The IFACP provides a framework to ensure that industry standards are relevant, pragmatic and fit for
purpose. These standards cover the endorsement of freight forwarders and more broadly the safe, secure and efficient transportation of air cargo shipments”, commented Aleks Popovich, IATA, Senior
Vice President, Financial and Distribution Services.
IATA’s Cargo Agency Program has long needed updating
With the establishment of a global IATA-FIATA Governance Board (IFGB), the industry will be better equipped to achieve key goals including: e-cargo priorities of greater efficiency and shared values, clarification of supply chain liability, improved compliance with safety and security standards through a more coordinated and concerted industry approach.
According to IATA / FIATA, the IFGB governance structure will reduce the administrative burden in managing the program as it includes the involvement of forwarders as equal partners in the decision making process which now correctly reflects the Principal-to-Principal relationship existing today between Freight Forwarders and Airlines.
There is no immediate impact on the present IATA Cargo Agents as the current participants of the IATA Cargo Agency/ Intermediary Program will be provided with a new IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program
Agreement when the program implementation process begins in their country. Upon execution and receipt of the completed Agreement, the Endorsed Freight Forwarder will join the new program. No
further assessment will be required, emphasize IATA and FIATA in their joint announcement.
The phased rollout of IFACP will begin in early 2017 with Canada as the pilot country. It is anticipated that full global rollout will be completed by end of 2018. The public signature with the common endorsement of the agreement will take place at the October FIATA World Congress which will be held in Dublin, Ireland.