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Customs & Trade Facilitation

Easing global trade


Goods transported yearly by air cargo worth in excess of $6.4 trillion, representing one third of global international trade. However, the industry faces multiple challenges to be competitive. Border delays are especially costly for air shipments and a critical matter for the survival of air transport since speed is aviation’s key advantage.

“Reducing supply chain barriers to trade could increase GDP up to six times more than removing tariffs. (…) Consumers gain access to a wider variety of goods. Workers benefit as well, as the boost to GDP is likely to stimulate employment growth”, according to World Economic Forum.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) implemented the SAFE Framework of Standards to enhance the security of the international supply chain and promote trade facilitation. It establishes standards to harmonize Advanced Electronic Information (AEI) requirements. Since its adoption in 2005, many countries have started to put into effect AEI conditions, but not always aligned with those WCO standards.

Need for a standard and harmonized approach

IATA’s objective is to provide a standard approach to comply with government regulations that require the provision of cargo information. This way the movement of cargo can be facilitated for both airlines and forwarders and unnecessary delays at points controlled by Customs can also be avoided.

To develop a more proactive relationship with Customs administrations, IATA has established a group of airlines experts in customs matters, the Customs Advisory Workgroup (CUSAG). In addition, IATA collaborates with the airfreight supply chain partners through the GACAG Trade Facilitation Task Force.

CUSAG develops industry position papers and deals with security and customs issues:

National Customs information

In order to improve the security of the global supply chain, and in accordance with SAFE, an increasing number of countries are shaping legislation to require advance electronic submission of data on goods passing their borders.

The Air Cargo Tariff and Rules (TACT) includes an e-Customs section covering AEI, along with specific requirements for countries worldwide. Data and documentation about local regulations can also be found in the national Customs websites.


Additional information

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