Air cargo efficiency focus for Bahrain summit
Manama, April 20, 2014
More than 300 expert delegates from 42 countries focused on developing a secure and efficient air cargo supply chain and its role in global economic growth at a conference that recently concluded in Bahrain.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) completed the joint conference on air cargo security and facilitation held under the patronage of Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
It was hosted by Transportation Ministry's Civil Aviation Affairs in co-operation with Interior Ministry's Customs Affairs.
The conference, which included representatives from more than 50 international and regional organisations and industry stakeholders and presentations from more than 25 speakers, was attended by ICAO secretary general Raymond Benjamin and WCO secretary general Kunio Mikuriya as well as the director general of the Universal Postal Union.
Customs Affairs president Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said with the rapid growth witnessed by the air cargo industry, it is important to increase efforts and enhance co-operation between the customs and civil aviation authorities on national, regional and international level and by involving industry stakeholders, to ensure the safe flow of cargo.
Civil Aviation Affairs acting under-secretary Ahmed Al Nemah reiterated the importance of joint co-operation in his remark, adding, "It is paramount that all organisations - Transportation Ministry's Civil Aviation Affairs, Interior Ministry's Customs Affairs, ICAO and WCO - increase their co-operation to achieve security goals set by ICAO, specifically those specified in Annex 17 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and other related security documents".
Al Nemah thanked both organisations for choosing Bahrain to be the host of this important conference.
"ICAO has been very encouraged by recent joint efforts to make civil aviation more secure, especially in the air cargo and related supply chain areas with our colleagues from the WCO," Benjamin said.
"We are also pleased to see the complementary focus being placed by all concerned on improving the facilitation of air cargo, especially in light of the fact that world airlines carry close to 50 million tonnes of freight per year, or approximately one-third of all international trade by value."
The conference discussed a number of national and regional co-operation models between civil aviation and customs authorities and called on states to intensify regional and national co-operation between authorities.
Solutions agreed included the co-ordinated implementation of risk-based and outcomes-focused international air cargo and mail security measures adaptable to local circumstances.
The conference also supported the streamlining of global supply chain documentation and processes to benefit both security and facilitation objectives. It welcomed some promising 'e-freight' and 'single-window' initiatives in this regard, and considered that advance cargo information, by contributing to risk assessments for cargo and mail, could assist in applying timely and appropriate security controls earlier in the supply chain. – TradeArabia News Service