Irish International Freight Association
Deirdre Clune - MEP for Ireland
Tuesday 21st February 2017
Deirdre Clune, MEP for Ireland and a member of the Transport Committee in the European Parliament, will attend and speak at IIFA's BREXIT seminar on Tuesday 21st February 2017.
This presents a significant opportunity for IIFA Members to have their industry specific opinions heard by an influential Member of the EU. IIFA will present a post-seminar submission to Ms. Clune, and all Irish MEPs, of Member's concerns so that those at influential level can learn from the knowledge and experience of the Irish Freight Forwarding community.
Taking place in the Clouds Rooftop Suite of the Carlton Hotel, Dublin Airport at 14:00 on Tuesday 21st February 2017, the full list of Speakers is as follows:
Steve Parker - President of CLECAT (European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services)
Deirdre Clune - MEP Ireland/ Member of the Transport Committee - European Parliament
John McGrane - Director General, British-Irish Chamber of Commerce
Frankie Devlin, Partner, & Fionn Uibh Eachach, Director VAT - KPMG Ireland
While a great amount of uncertainty still surrounds BREXIT, the above Speakers were carefully selected for their unique perspectives. On 21st February, these Speakers will offer insight into continental Europe's reactions to and feelings toward BREXIT, reports on developments since June 2016 and an in-sight into potential tax implications arising from potential BREXIT scenarios, based on existing Trade Agreements within the European Union. This event will also be an opportunity for Members to voice their concerns with their industry Colleagues. BREXIT will have an enormous impact on the Irish Freight Forwarding industry and Members will need to have an understanding of how it will affect our industry in order to prepare for same.
Response to this seminar has been significant. Those still wishing to attend are asked to confirm their attendance to the IIFA Secretariat via 01 845 5411 or e-mail through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For directions to the venue, please see the below link:
9 EU States Demand Action on Low-Cost Truck Drivers
Transport ministers from eight EU countries and Norway met in Paris on 31 January to adopt a joint declaration calling for the creation of a common market for transport, in order to safeguard workers' rights. France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Sweden and Norway agreed on two objectives: to improve convergence on the European regulations and to improve controls.
The question of unfair competition and social dumping in the goods transport sector is an incendiary issue between the EU's eastern member states, which are the biggest suppliers of low-cost drivers, and their western partners. According to Western European Ministers unfair competition from the East is gradually forcing western European transport companies out of business.
The joint-declaration calls of the following measures:
- Initiate measures to improve living conditions of truck drivers and prevent excessive time periods spent on the road whilst spending the rest periods on board of the truck.
- Strengthen measures for light duty vehicles (these are currently exempt from most regulations on international transport).
- Speed up the implementation of the e-CRM
- Share relevant data on evaluation and control systems for cabotage, and improve the cross-border data collection to improve statistics available.
- Share best practices on cabotage implementation.
- More cross-border collaboration to combat tachograph fraud and letter box companies
- No extension of the CEMT-permit, as this will increase the problem of social dumping.
The timing of the launch of this nine-country alliance is no coincidence: the European Commission is discussing road transport at the moment and is due to propose new legislation on the issue this May. "Professional drivers have become road slaves," Alain Vidalies, the French transport minister, told the press after the meeting. "These countries came together in Paris today and decided to act together to end unfair competition and the degradation of the living standards of professional drivers in the road transport sector," he added.
CELCAT responds on 9th February 2017
In a press release published on 9 February CLECAT responded to proposals for a 'Road Alliance' and called on policy makers to take a realistic and pragmatic approach at a time when Europe needs to refrain from further protectionism which will ultimately not bring benefits to the European economy and society at large. Overall, the liberalisation of international road freight transport has also allowed social and economic growth all over Europe and remains the backbone of the EU economy.
Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT said: "we are worried to see enforcement being replaced more and more by national initiatives and regulation, and an increased administrative burden on freight forwarders - to the level of taking over the role of enforcement. It should be noted that freight forwarders always seek to ensure, before contracting a service from a carrier, that rules are being respected, including the legislation with regards to the minimum wages and driving and resting times. There are however limits to what can reasonably be controlled by them to avoid carriers committing offenses, whether intended or unintended."
The Road Alliance also calls on the ITF to continue to cap the quota which controls market opening, in an effort to further protect European markets. Whilst recognising the political constraints, CLECAT calls on the European Commission to pursue its ambition to further internationalise road freight transport with third countries and regrets the lack of recognition of the importance of international road freight transport for European business.
Ms van der Jagt continued: 'at a time when many of our members are disillusioned by restrictions being introduced into the market that seek to protect national interests, we are looking forward to further constructive discussions with policy makers in the run-up to the European Commission's road initiative, as we do believe that it is the responsibility of the European Union to provide clear rules in support of the Single Market. We can therefore support the initiatives of the Road Alliance in support of better enforcement, e-CMR and cooperation between Member States.
IIFA meet with Latvian Embassy
Ilza Kreslina, CEO of the Irish Latvian Chamber of Commerce, IIFA President Tom Thornton and Gints Apals, Ambassador of Latvia to Ireland.
IIFA President Tom Thornton met with Gints Apals, Ambassador of Latvia to Ireland, and Ilza Kreslina, CEO of the Irish Latvian Chamber of Commerce, on Friday 10th February 2017. Trade routes were the main topic of conversation. With their historical relationship with Russia, Latvians are generally fluent in the Russian language and have a cultural understanding of Russia. Geographical, Latvia's position facilitates access networks to both St. Petersburg and Moscow. The Latvian Ambassador also highlighted the advantages of Latvia's ice fee ports and utilising Latvia's rail connections to connect to India, Pakistan and China. The capital city, Riga, will be part of Rail Baltica, a project to link Finalnd, the Baltic States and Poland via Rail, providing passenger and freight service between the countries and and improving rail connections between Central and Northern Europe. Rail Baltica is one of the priority projects of the EU Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T).
This was the first of a series of future meetings between IIFA and the Latvian Embassy to promote awareness of transport routes and will lead to a visit by a Latvian Freight and Logistics Delegation to Ireland later this year. The Latvian Embassy will share further information about Latvia's logistics network with IIFA Members in future IIFA newsletters.
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Exciting News from a IIFA Member
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IAA Welcomes Ireland's First Approved Parcel Delivery by Drone
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) welcomed the first IAA approved parcel delivery by drone, which successfully took place on Saturday 28th January, in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
The flight was organised by Belle Moore (10 years old), a student of Alexandra College Junior School, Milltown, as part of her research for her project on drones for the Intel Mini Scientist Competition. The flight took place at 5pm and took two minutes to complete from take-off to parcel drop, with the drone taking the parcel, weighing 250 grams from the shoreline to a boat at sea almost 200 metres away. The parcel contained medical supplies: an emergency thermal blanket, an Epi-pen, bandages, plasters, thermometer, first aid leaflet, gloves, wipes and burn dressings. It also contained food and a drink in the form of a high-energy bar and water. The supplies were attached to the underside of the drone in a waterproof container.
The IAA helped Belle with her research, providing her with details on the safety regulations for drone flight in Ireland. This flight is the first parcel delivery drop by drone that the IAA has sanctioned in Ireland. "We're delighted with the success of the first official parcel delivery in Ireland via drone under controlled conditions which met all regulatory requirements. The application of drone technology is vast and the IAA will continue to foster, promote and encourage its use with the emphasis, as always, on safety," said Ralph James, the IAA's Director of Safety Regulation. "A significant amount of research is taking place all over the world to design systems which will enable drones to safely integrate with manned aviation. Drone delivery systems is one such application. Whatever procedures are introduced in the future must guarantee the safety of manned aviation and the safety of people on the ground in urban areas," added Ralph James.
Also helping Belle with her research and the flight were FlyRyte Drone Academy who train commercial drone pilots in Ireland (Gearóid Ó Briain, Head of Training at FlyRyte helped Belle by controlling the delivery drone), as well as Pony Express Couriers.
Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce mandatory registration for all drones over 1kg. There are now over 6,000 drones and small aircraft registered with the IAA and the number continues to grow. The legislation prohibits users from operating their drones:
- if it will be a hazard to another aircraft in flight;
- ·over an assembly of people;
- farther than 300m from the operator;
- within 120m of any person, vessel or structure not under the operator's control;
- closer than 5km from an aerodrome;
- in a negligent or reckless manner so as to endanger life or property of others;
- ·over 400ft (120m) above ground level;
- ·over urban areas;
- in civil or military controlled airspace;
- in restricted areas (e.g. military installations, prisons, etc.);
- unless the operator has permission from the landowner for take-off and landing.
EU and Mexico Agree to Accelerate Trade Talks
The European Union and Mexico will hold two additional negotiating rounds before the summer as part of an accelerated negotiation schedule for a new, reformed Free Trade Agreement. The dates of the upcoming rounds (3-7 April and 26-29 June) were agreed by Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, and the Minister of Economy of Mexico, Ildefonso Guajardo. As part of this new schedule, fixed during a phone conversation, the two also agreed to meet in Mexico City between these rounds to take stock and push negotiators for further progress.
This step is seen by many as the EUs response to America's reconsideration of trade agreements. In a joint statement following their phone call, Commissioner Malmström and Minister of Economy Guajardo said: "Together, we are witnessing the worrying rise of protectionism around the world. Side by side, as like-minded partners, we must now stand up for the idea of global, open cooperation."
9.2 Million Tonnes of Trade Handled Through the Port of Cork in 2016
Total traffic through the Port of Cork reached 9.2 million tonnes in 2016, a slight decrease compared to 2015 traffic. Import figures remain steady while exports were reduced primarily due to the closure of Lisheen Mines in Co. Tipperary and the subsequent cessation of exporting lead and zinc through the Port of Cork in 2016.
Total container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy Container Terminals grew by 2% compared to 2015 figures, with over 209,000 TEU's handled. The growth in container handling at the Port of Cork is very encouraging particularly as the Port moves to redevelop Ringaskiddy Port as their main container terminal. In 2016 the largest container vessel to visit an Irish Port called to Ringaskiddy on route from Central America. This weekly service not only ensures the Irish grocery market is fully supplied with fresh fruit, but positions Cork as deep sea port capable of handling panamax size container vessels.
Trade in Dry bulk cargos such as animal feed, fertilisers and cereals saw a marginal decrease while liquid bulk cargo, predominantly the oil traffic handled through Whitegate Oil Refinery now Irving Oil, also reported a slight decrease. Positively, in 2016 family owned Canadian company Irving Oil acquired Phillips 66, securing the future of Whitegate Oil Refinery. This positive step was welcomed by the Port of Cork and will ensure Ireland remains competitive within the global oil market and has a security of supply of crude products that can be refined within the Irish State and not be totally dependent on international events. Whitegate supplies 30-40% of the Irish refined fuel market through its road loading facility and by sea to Irish and international ports over its marine jetty.
Speaking about the 2016 trade traffic figures the Port of Cork Chairman Mr. John Mullins said: 'The trade results for the Port of Cork in 2016 are overall very encouraging despite some decreases in certain trades. We are very pleased with the results as achieving traffic figures which are in line with pre-recessionary time highlights the positivity returning to the market and I am confident that the port can sustain this growth across 2017. In particular container traffic through Tivoli and Ringaskiddy increased by 2% with imports fractionally higher than exports. There was impressive growth in the imports of trade cars with over 46,000 vehicles imported.'
In 2015 An Bord Pleanala granted a 10-year planning permission to Port of Cork for the redevelopment of the existing port facilities at Ringaskiddy. In July 2016 the Port of Cork submitted to the Board a request to alter the terms of the permission granted to enhance the long-term sustainability of the port. The €80 million port redevelopment will future proof the facility and Port of Cork look forward to the project progressing in 2017.
FIATA on New Indian Service Tax Rules
The Indian Government Ministry of Finance has recently notified further amendments to its Service Tax Rules 1994 - referring to amendments initially announced with notification No. 30/2012 - Service Tax.
These amendments are referred to as the "Service Tax (Amendment) Rules, 2017" and came into force on 22 January 2017 - only 10 days after publication and with too little time for the trade to react and deal with any changes.
The Service Tax under this rule is an indirect tax levied on services as specified by the Finance Act. The current amount of the Service Tax is 4,5%. Import freight charges have been subject to Service Tax for all collect shipments since June 2016, with freight prepaid shipments being exempted.
With the current "Service Tax (Amendment) Rules 2017", the exemption for freight prepaid shipments is withdrawn making them also subject to Service Tax. Whilst the rule says that the provider of the service is responsible for paying the Service Tax, the rule also allows the recipient of the service to pay for the Service Tax.
Most Shipping Lines have announced that they would start charging the 4,5% Service Tax on freight to India at origin from the shipper for freight prepaid shipments.
The FIATA Working Group Sea has studied the situation at some length and reached the following conclusions:
The mentioned amendments have been announced on 12 January 2017 and came into force as of 22 January 2017. This short notice is unreasonable as it does not allow the trade to prepare or comment.
2. The logic of indirect tax
The Service Tax is supposed to be collected by the service provider who is recovering the amount from the service recipient. In the context of international freight, both the shipper as well as the consignee can be considered as recipient of the services. However, a taxable person who is part of the tax regime, pays Service Tax and can use it as tax credit in the form of CENVAT credit. The trader who is established in the territory can recover the taxes paid. This is not possible for a person outside of the tax regime.
3. Legal Jurisdiction
The Service Tax is imposed by the Indian Government and should be collected from persons that are part of the Indian tax regime. It is unreasonable to use foreign entities that are not part of the tax system to collect taxes at a place that is not part of the tax regime territory. There is legitimate question on the fact that such procedure is compatible with international accounting standards and practice.
4. Service Tax must be collected from the consignee
Having concluded the above and due to the fact that the rule allows for the consignee to pay for the taxes, FIATA Working Group Sea believes it is unreasonable to collect a tax from a foreign person who is not part of the Indian tax regime. Instead it is recommended that the Service Tax be collected at destination, in India and from the consignee who is party to the Indian tax regime and could offset the same as per local regulations available to him/her.
FIATA recommends its members to lobby their Government and relevant authorities along the above mentioned lines and refuse to pay the Service Tax to shipping lines. In fact, there are shipping lines that have already agreed to collect the Service Freight on prepaid shipment to India at destination. Rather than simply trying to collect the taxes from the shipper, shipping lines should communicate with the Indian Government in order to seek clarification.
Incorrect Container Packing Causes 65% of Cargo Damage
Correct packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs) and the safety issues that result from poor work practices is the topic of a high profile seminar during the European Shipping week (27 Feb - 2 Mar) in Brussels. The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Kitack Lim, and Magda Kopczynska from the European Commission's DG MOVE, which is the directorate responsible for freight transport safety within the EU, will join industry leaders to speak at a seminar on Monday 27 February. The seminar is organised by the Global Shippers Forum (GSF); the cargo handling group ICHCA; TT Club and the World Shipping Council (WSC).
A recent analysis of TT Club's insurance claims records suggests that 65% of damages to cargo result from poorly packed, blocked or secured cargo in CTUs, particularly freight containers. "Yet this points to only a fraction of the extent of a significant safety problem surrounding poor packing" states TT Club's Risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs-Fox. "[...] preventable incidents, both on land (road and rail) and at sea, arise from badly packed CTUs. The safety of workers, particularly those unloading units at destination, is also at considerable risk. Safe industry packing and securing guidance must be disseminated and followed."
The seminar, entitled, 'Safety in the Intermodal Supply Chain: Promoting IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code)' will endeavour to raise the profile of the issues. The non-mandatory code has been in place for more than two years, but all stakeholders along the supply chain need to be aware and implement it correctly.
Further information is available here
New Campaign Highlights Employer Responsibility to Employees who drive for work
The Road Safety Authority (RSA), Health & Safety Authority (HSA) and An Garda Síochána have launched a joint TV led campaign to underline the importance of putting proper measures in place to ensure the safety of all employees who drive for work. This includes both professional drivers and those who drive as part of their job.
It is estimated that 1 in 3 road collisions every year involve people who were driving for work at the time of the collision. This means that up to 63 lives could have been lost in work related road collisions in Ireland in 2016. If an employee is driving for work it is the responsibility of their employer to ensure they have a driving for work policy in place to minimise the risks faced by their employees while on the road. The new campaign directs employers and employees looking for information on mitigating driving for work risks to the website www.drivingforwork.ie
Martin O'Halloran, CEO, Health and Safety Authority, said, "All Employers are required by health and safety laws to put proper measures in place to protect the safety, health and welfare of all their Employees. It is a concern that many Irish businesses who have Employees who drive in the course of their work do not have a driving for work policy as part of their health and safety management system. As an Employer, if you have employees who drive in the course of their work you have a responsibility to put in place driving for work safety procedures. Employers are also required to provide Employees with relevant safety instruction, information, and training to protect their safety, health and welfare. Proactively managing driving for work in your business will help to protect your workforce, and your business."
The benefits of implementing a driving for work programme greatly outweigh the costs. Benefits to the business include increased employee loyalty and enhanced public image, reduced likelihood of employee injury or death and subsequent sickness and dependency costs and increased productivity. For every €1 claimed on insurance, arising from work related road incidents, companies may have to pay a further €8 to €36 for uninsured losses.
While drivers are responsible for how they drive, the Employer has a duty to the Employee to make driving for work as safe as possible. Ultimately, Employers have a duty of care to ensure that all work-related journeys are safe, members of staff are able to drive safely, and all vehicles and associated equipment are fit for use. All Employees who drive for work should be provided with information, instruction, and proper training to ensure they are aware of the risk in driving for work to encourage them to actively mitigate all risk.
The Health and Safety Authority has developed a free online course
on 'Managing Driving for Work' in partnership with An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority. The objective of the course is to educate employers about the risks associated with driving for work and how to manage employees, vehicles and work related journeys to prevent collisions on the road. The course can be accessed at www.drivingforwork.ie
Limits of Liability (Cargo Claims)
By Sea - Hague Visby Rules
SDR 2 per kilo or
SDR 666.67 per package
By Road - CMR
SDR 8.33 per kilo
By Air - Warsaw/Montreal
SDR 19 per kilo
IIFA Standard Trading Conditions
SDR 2 per kilo
The SDR rate on 13/02/2017 according to the
International Monetary Fund
was 1 SDR = 1.274240 Euro
Agus focail scoir:
"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Irish International Freight Association
Unit C3, Airside Enterprise Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin
Tel: 00353 (0)1 845 5411