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​Second edition of the IATA/AFRAA Stakeholder Forum on Blocked Funds

On the 4th of April, 2017, IATA, in partnership with the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) hosted the 2nd edition of the Stakeholders forum on Blocked Funds at the AFRAA Head Quarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The repatriation of airlines sales proceeds is an issue of growing concern for the airline industry. An increasing number of member airlines continue to report difficulties with the repatriation of their sales revenues due to a shortage of foreign exchange in certain countries around in world including a number in Africa.  Funds are considered “blocked” when airlines are unable to convert local currency sales proceeds into their main operating currencies, before repatriation to their country of operations, for more than two months (from the date of submission of the repatriation application).

IATA continues to take an active lead on the issue of Blocked Funds on several fronts. We closely monitor trends across the world and prepare a monthly Currency Repatriation Report. The report provides a useful summary of global currency repatriation issues and the macroeconomic metrics influencing the situation in each country (including the regulatory environment around foreign exchange). The report also details IATA’s advocacy actions to alleviate the situation. IATA also provides financial support to the industry via the IATA Currency Clearance Service (ICCS). Finally and most importantly, underpinning the above is IATA’s lobbying and advocacy support in addressing the issue of Blocked Funds. IATA maintains positive relationships with local clearing banks, national central banks, Government Ministries and other key Stakeholders often leading to effective solutions where blocked funds persist.

The IATA Stakeholders Forum continues to play a key role in IATA’s advocacy efforts on blocked funds and for simplifying currency repatriation. The meeting ensures that all Stakeholders remain coordinated and proactive when identifying and alleviating blocked funds issues. The meeting was very well attended with attendance by over 20 airlines, 5 major Clearing Banks with wide local representation across Africa and regional associations like AFRAA. We were also very grateful to have the esteemed participation and invaluable contribution from a representative from the Central Bank of Mauritania.

Africa and the Middle East welcomes new IATA members

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the IATA family - CemAir (Pty) Ltd of South Africa and Iran Airtours Airline of Iran. We are pleased that their addition has raised our esteemed membership base in the Africa and Middle East region to 58 airlines.

CemAir and Iran Airtour are both licensed International and Domestic Scheduled and Non-Scheduled air carriers. CemAir is also a licensed Part 145 Maintenance and Repair Organisation with in house capabilities to maintain all their own aircraft. They both joined IATA in the month of February, 2017.

As IATA members, CemAir and Iran Airtour now have access to a wide range of exclusive discounts on IATA products and services including IATA publications and events. This is in addition to participation in IATA working groups and industry programs on Safety, Security, Cargo, etc. We will continue to provide all our members with a credible, experienced and knowledgeable voice to support and promote the best interests of the global aviation industry.

We look forward to Welcoming CemAir and Iran Airtour to the IATA Annual General Meeting in Cancun Mexico from the 4 – 6 June, 2017. IATA currently stands at 274 member airlines worldwide comprising 83% of total air traffic. For more information on IATA Membership, please visit our internet page and/or contact us at: amemer@iata.org.

 We would also like to hear from airlines across the region (IATA members and non-members in Africa and the Middle East). What would you like us to do more of and how can we be of more support to you in 2017.To this end, we would like to request that you complete the very brief (1 page, 2 minute) survey.

IATA and ICAO capacity building initiatives on the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was adopted by the 39th session of the ICAO Assembly to address any annual increase in total CO2 emissions from international civil aviation above 2020 levels. In cooperation with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), IATA Held a series of workshops in different locations to assist airlines in their preparations for the implementation of CORSIA, by providing guidance on the practical implications of the scheme, including monitoring, reporting and verification, as well as compliance obligations and carbon markets. The workshop was hosted by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) on 14 &15 February 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The CORSIA will have implications for all airlines operating international flights, even flights that are exempted from offsetting requirements, as follows:

  • From 1 January 2019, all airlines will need to monitor, report and verify (MRV) their CO2 emissions from all international flights. In 2018, all airlines will have to submit an emissions monitoring plan to their authorities and set in place the necessary systems to monitor fuel consumption in accordance with ICAO MRV requirements. 
  • From 1 January 2021, all airlines, irrespective of their nationality, will have to offset emissions from flights which are not exempt. So for example if an airline based in an exempted country flies between 2 European countries or between the UK and the US, the emissions from these flights will be subject to offsetting requirements.

Please find below a simplified timeline of activities outlining the requirements under ICAO:

IATA is also participating at the upcoming ICAO Regional Seminars on States’ Action Plans and CORSIA. The objectives of the ICAO Regional Seminars is to share information on CORSIA and provide an opportunity for States to share their existing readiness to implement CORSIA and conduct an assessment of assistance needs. The regional Seminar will be held in Nairobi on 10-13 April 2017 and in Cairo on 17-20 April (in addition to other seminars planned in other locations). More information is available on the ICAO website.

Ratification of Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99)

We heartily congratulate the officials of Mauritius and Mauritius Airlines on the country’s ratification of the Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99) effective 3 April 2017. This is another big step towards reshaping the international air law environment for the benefit of airlines, passengers and shippers operating to and from Mauritius. Amongst numerous other benefits, the Montreal Convention provides the legal certainty for the use of electronic air way bills, paving the way for faster shipments, while passengers will benefit from better protection.

The global ratification of The Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99) is an industry priority. It establishes airline liability in the case of death, injury or delay to passengers or in cases of delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo. It modernizes and unifies all of the different international treaty regimes covering airline liability that have developed haphazardly since 1929. In short, it was designed to be a single, universal treaty to govern airline liability around the world.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in its 38th Assembly in 2013 recognized the significant benefits that MC99 offers and adopted a Resolution that urges all States that have not ratified MC99 to do so as soon as possible. The 39th Session of the ICAO Assembly in 2016 adopted Resolution A39-9 again urging all Contracting States to support and encourage the universal adherence to the Montréal Convention of 1999 and to become Parties to the instrument.

Many countries in the Africa and Middle East region are in the process of completing the ratification of MC99. We hope for more in the near future and encourage countries who have not yet done so to prioritize the ratification of MC99.

For more information, please visit please visit the Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99) page.

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