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Currency Matters newsletter is back!

After a long hiatus, the Currency Matters newsletter is back and will be produced once per quarter every January, April, July and October. The Newsletter will be distributed via email in HTML format and will provide regular updates from IATA on its Currency Clearance Service (ICCS) and Currency Coordination activities and cover other subjects of interest to the airline treasury community.

Happy reading and feel free to send us your comments and suggestions!

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2010 IATA Treasury Conference Sign up now!
This year's event will take place on October 11 and 12 in Geneva, Switzerland. Delegate and Exhibitor registration is well under way and we encourage Members to register as soon as possible. The hotel room block is being held until September 9.

Hot topics in the area of Treasury and Credit cards will be covered, including
the newest hot topics of eBAM (Electronic Bank Account Management) and Emissions Trading. On the Exhibition side, a select range of new service providers have been invited and confirmed, providing an ideal opportunity to obtain the latest info on treasury solutions.

For more information and to access all registration forms please visit our conference website our conference website.

 
 

ICCS User Training Session

ICCS has begun to host regular webinars for new ICCS Members and new staff of existing Members. So far several successful sessions have been held, the last on 23 June with 9 participants from various countries.
In addition to being held regularly, these training sessions are also available on request. Should you or your team wish to attend a webinar on ICCS or CitiDirect please contact us.

 
 

General Sales Agent Sales thru ICCS – Reminder!

ICCS users can further centralize the receipt of their world-wide sales proceeds by adding their non-BSP General Sales Agent (GSA) sales proceeds to flow through ICCS. Once IATA confirms receipt of the funds from the airline's relevant GSA, the funds will be processed via ICCS in the next possible ICCS Clearance Cycle. The list of current countries where this service is available is found on the main ICCS webpage the main ICCS webpage under the "ICCS Operational Countries" tab.

Please contact the ICCS team if you would like to add a GSA to this collection facility, including a GSA in a country where the service is not yet available. IATA
is ready to expand its global coverage in this area but would need a minimum number of participants in one given country.

 
 

Ad-hoc Foreign Exchange Dealing

A pilot project will be launched where ICCS user airlines can book foreign exchange contracts via ICCS for their trading needs outside the regular conversion of BSP/CASS sales proceeds. This would be applicable only to the main ICCS currencies handled (28), using the FXBenchmark market rates, which are based on live Interbank midpoint rates.
For more details please contact Tony Pietrangelo.

 
 

ICCS' Accelerated Settlement Option

Do you want to receive your ICCS funds quicker and have no need
for FX conversions or changing your standard instructions on every
settlement period?

If yes, then ICCS' Accelerated Settlement option is for you! This settlement option adds a second, earlier settlement date to any given ICCS clearance cycle. Funds are settled to airlines on the Contract Day of the ICCS 4-day cycle instead of the ICCS Clearance Day. This translates into a 2-business day acceleration in settlement. Certain conditions apply; please contact Amy Barnes for more information.

 
 

Did you know?

ICCS Country Forms: The ICCS forms for adding new countries (BSPs/CASSes) are now available on our Members Private Page.

Members wishing to expand their ICCS usage will be able to access and download these forms from the above-mentioned website to request a new BSP and/or CASS to be added to ICCS. A step-by-step process is also included. The country expansion forms are available under the "ICCS Forms" tab.

For those Members that do not presently have access to the ICCS Members Private Page website, you can request a password when you first visit the site. For any questions or forms to add/change bank accounts or signatories, add users to CitiDirect, or add countries to Accelerated ICCS, please contact us.

ICCS Operations Calendars: In response to Members' requests, we have worked toward a system whereby we can make the ICCS Operations Calendars available to you at least 3 months in advance, available on our Members Private Page.

Note: The Clearance Day (row 5) is the value date of the ICCS payments in each Clearance Cycle.

 
 

IATA Emission Trading Course: Carbon Trading for Aviation

One of the newest hot topics for airline financial executives is the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS). In response to this new legislation, IATA has created an Emission Trading course to assist airlines in understanding the implications and plan accordingly. The first course will be held in Geneva, 20-21 September 2010. Register now!

181 IATA member airlines have been captured by the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and new regional cap-and-trade systems are emerging in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and USA.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about carbon trading mechanisms and how they will affect your airline. This course is tailored to assist you master the basics, understand the pricing dynamics and gear up for emission trading in the EU from January 2012.

The program will cover topics including:

  • How aviation fits in: Aviation Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)
    legislation summary.
  • How significant is the US legislation on aviation emissions?
  • Implications of the US legal challenge for airline preparedness
    (European and non-European airlines
  • Aviation in the EU ETS: carbon credit terminology, credit restrictions,
    price dynamics and carbon price scenarios
  • From now through to 2013: milestones and what do I need to prepare?
  • Navigating and optimizing the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) requirements
  • How does the market actually work, what do I buy and whom do I trade with?

The course would be useful for aviation environment, finance and treasury professionals. Register now to ensure you have a seat!

 
 

Currency Corner

This part of the newsletter discusses funds repatriation delays and other issues faced by Airlines world-wide. It is a summary of the workings of IATA's Currency Coordination activities.
The IATA Currency Coordination Working Group (ICWG) held a meeting on 7 May 2010 in the IATA offices in Geneva. The next ICWG meeting will take place during IATA's Airline Industry Treasury Conference, which in the IATA offices in Geneva on 12 October 2010. Below is a summary of status and actions in the countries covered by the group.

Remittances of Foreign Balances Survey Summary 2009 edition:

  • The total industry amount outstanding as of 31 December 2009
    was USD 611 million.
  • This is an increase of USD 314 million over the 2008 year-end figure
    of USD 297 million.
  • 78% of this amount is delayed in Venezuela, USD 474 million in 2009 versus 196 million in 2008.
  • It is estimated that the USD 611 million had, at the end of 2009, cost the industry USD 30 million, an increase of USD 0.8 million from the 2008 figure of USD 29.3 million.
  • There was an increase in the Americas, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
  • 196 airlines were surveyed and 92 responded, of which 22 reported outstanding balances and 70 reported no outstanding balances
  • The 5 most serious problem countries reported were: Venezuela, Ethiopia, Sudan, Algeria, and Eritrea.
 
 

Country Specific Updates

Algeria: Transfer of local sales takes 2 to 3 months. Funds eligible for remittance only consist of flown revenue – not sales, not MCO's/PTA's, not penalties for no shows, not revenues from holiday packages, etc. Airlines cannot repatriate the ticket taxes they have collected on sales made in Algeria but relating to overseas destination points, which they need to pay outside Algeria.

Objectives:

  • Taxes: Clarify with the Central Bank, which taxes are remittable and which are not and ask for written documentation. Once established, suggest to the Central Bank to allow the airlines to remit non-local taxes retroactively.
  • Sales based remittances: Argue for remittance applications based on sales as opposed flown coupons. The net of revenue and expenditure should be remittable in total. If the Central Bank will want some proof of service delivery, we can compare with the local carrier whose processes will be similar.
  • Remittances without documentation from suppliers: Argue that there is no need for supplier documentation to prove invoices have been paid. Push toward ad hoc repatriations of a certain percentage before checks and then the Central Bank can use the remainder to apply any penalties.
Status: In January the IATA Country Manager North Africa met with the Sous Directeur Transport Aerien of the Civil Aviation Authority to specifically discuss the issue of repatriation of foreign owed taxes from Algeria and broadly the repatriation process.

They have requested that IATA gather information from the affected carriers as to the nature of the taxes in question, amount of the tax, and the entity to which the tax is owed. IATA will then send this information to the CAA and they will push further discussions.

A letter was sent to CAA on 21 June reiterating our requests regarding repatriation of non-local taxes, applications based on sales and abolishing the need for documentation from suppliers. We have included an example ticket outlining the items that cannot be repatriated at this time. The letter also requests CAA support for a meeting between IATA and the Minister of Transportation. IATA is actively following up.

Angola: There is a general lack of foreign exchange and repatriation procedures are cumbersome. IATA is investigating the possibility of ICCS and the ability of airlines to make payments in local currency.

Eritrea: There is a general lack of foreign exchange in Eritrea. IATA Currency Coordination is checking on the possibility of paying for local charges in local currency. We will continue to liaise with the affected carriers and the Country Manager East Africa on possible approaches to alleviate the situation.

Ethiopia: There is a lack of hard currency, as well as, cumbersome repatriation procedures. A local airline committee co-chaired by Kenya Airways and KLM, has put forth the goals of the ability to open USD bank accounts, 100% repatriations before checks and eliminating remittance delays. IATA has had several meetings with the National Bank of Ethiopia regarding these goals and will continue to follow up.

At the same time, Ethiopian Airlines formally agreed to accept payments for ground handling and catering services provided by them in local currency. Specifics of any agreements must be worked out between Ethiopian Airlines
and the Airline concerned.

Iran: Aside from sanctions there are no further issues in Iran at this time.

The ICWG would like to sincerely thank the work of the local airline representatives in Iran. Under the leadership if Ms. Tania Mansourian, KLM, airlines are now able to implement a new transfer procedure based on sales and monthly bank statements as proof of income/expenses, which has enabled the ICWG to remove Iran from our list of problem countries at a cost savings of USD 1.4 million.

However, tightening sanctions are making payment of overflight charges to Iran increasingly difficult. In addition, some airlines are finding it difficult to repatriate sales proceeds from Iran to the EU, as some EU banks have applied their own voluntary restrictions and refuse to accept any funds associated in any way with Iran. However, there are still those EU banks that apply the official sanctions only and will allow repatriation of funds from Iran.

Iraq: Iraq is not a problem at this time; however there is concern as use of local currency grows, that it may become an issue.

The ICWG has started a Forum group on Iraq to put airlines operating there in contact with one another and to flag any potential issues as they arise. Should you be interested in participating in this group, please contact Amy Barnes.

Libia: Repatriation times have decreased to an average of 2 months, dropping Libya off the list of ICWG countries. Any carriers experiencing delays are encouraged to contact the Civil Aviation Authority Directly.

Malawi:There is a general lack of foreign currency in Malawi. ICCS was implemented in September of 2009 and receives funds from the BSP on average 40 days after the BSP settlement date. The airlines have confirmed that the situation in Malawi is better with ICCS than without ICCS, however IATA must continue to push the BSP Clearing Bank for further improvements.

Nigeria: In Nigeria, Airlines were experiencing cumbersome repatriation procedures resulting in delays of 4 to 5 months. ICCS was implemented in March on a pilot basis subject to review by the NCAA in May. Carriers using ICCS in Nigeria must submit an audit statement to the NCAA every three months. If this is not received then the BSP will withhold funds until the correct documentation has been received.

Sudan: There is a general lack of foreign exchange in Sudan. A letter was sent to the Central Bank of Sudan by IATA on 17 June requesting the allocation of hard currency toward airline applications for repatriation. IATA is continuing to follow up with the Central Bank.

Syria: The situation has improved in Syria and funds are received in less than two months, dropping Syria off the list of ICWG countries. As of 1 May, sales in both USD and SYP became effective and the BSP amended settlements to include both.

Venezuela:

  • IATA has had many high level meetings with the Central Bank (BCV) and CADIVI since July 2009 resulting in increased approvals since that time.
  • Increases in pending authorizations stem largely from increased market growth.
  • BCV agreed that airline applications with CADIVI as of 8 January would receive rate 2.6 does not include sales prior but not applied for.
  • IATA is trying to get November and December sales approved at 2.6.
  • In February, the IATA Country Manager along with several carriers, met with CADIVI to discuss extreme delays in application processing. In the future, CADIVI agreed to provide an updated checklist for applications,
    as well as, to hold an operational meeting with the airlines' staff to further clarify procedures.

 
 

To Contact IATA's Cash Management Services Team

ICCS Account Manager (customer service queries)
Amy Barnes
barnesa@iata.org | tel: +41 22 770 2757

ICCS Operations department
Renata Oleksik, Martin Kaluschke, Daniel Arias
iccs.operations@iata.org | tel: +41 22 770 2500

Financial Administration (quarterly statement queries)
Lise Gagnon
gagnonl@iata.org | tel: +1 514 390 6801

Business Development & Management
Tony Pietrangelo
pietranget@iata.org | tel: +1 514 390 6801

 

This issue is also available on our website.


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Newsletter Content
2010 IATA Treasury Conference
ICCS User Training Session
General Sales Agent Sales
thru ICCS
Ad-hoc Foreign Exchange Dealing
ICCS' Accelerated Settlement Option
Did you know?
IATA Emission Trading Course: Carbon Trading for Aviation
Currency Corner
Country Specific Updates
Contact Info
ICCS logo
ICCS Global Coverage Update

IATA is aggressively continuing its expansion project of the ICCS, with a target of having the service available in all IATA BSP and CASS settlement operations world-wide.
During the first 8 months of 2010 an additional 7 BSPs and 10 CASSes were added:

  BSPs

Cayman Islands

French Polynesia

Guam

Micronesia

Nigeria

Tortola

Turks & Caicos

  CASSes
Dominican Republic
Guatemala
Malaysia
Malta
Mauritius
Taiwan
Tanzania
Uganda
Yemen
New ICCS members

We are pleased to announce the following (16) new ICCS Members who have joined during the first part of 2010:

Air Andalus
Atlasjet
Carpatair
Chalair Aviation
Hellenic Imperial
Incel Air
Jetlink Express
Jetstar
Kuban Airlines
LAM
Proflight
Royal Falcon
Safi Airways
Viking Hellas
VIM Airlines
Yamal Airlines
 
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