International Shipping Federations take on Counterfeit Goods Trade

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Leaders from global shipping firms, freight forwarders, brand owners whose products are counterfeited and industry organizations representing both industries signed a joint Declaration of Intent to Prevent the Maritime Transport of Counterfeit Goods in Brussels last week.

The event marked the first time the global shipping industry and brand owners have made a public commitment to work together to stop the transport of counterfeit goods on shipping vessels.

Initial signatories include the leading global shipping firms and freight forwarders and ten major multinational brand manufacturers, along with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), and the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) and Commercial Crime Service (CCS).

More transporters, brand owners and their industry associations are expected to join the voluntary initiative as awareness grows.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, about 90 percent of all international trade is moved around the world in more than 500 million containers on 89,000 maritime vessels. While this represents approximately 90 percent of all international trade, UNODC says that less than two percent of these containers are inspected to verify their contents. This results in enormous opportunities for criminal networks to abuse this critical supply chain channel to transport huge volumes of counterfeit products affecting virtually every product sector.

According to a recent OECD/EUIPO report, $461 billion in counterfeit goods moved through international trade in 2013, with almost 10 percent being shipped on maritime vessels.

Maersk Line and CMA CGM Group, two of the largest global transport companies with approximately half of all global shipping, and Kuehne and Nagel and Expeditors, two of the leading freight forwarding and logistics companies with total revenues of more than $27 billion, were the first in their industries to sign the Declaration.

The non-binding Declaration acknowledges the “destructive impact” of counterfeits on international trade. It calls on the maritime transport industry to address it “through continuous proactive measures, and corporate social responsibility principles.” The Declaration includes a zero tolerance policy on counterfeiting, strict supply chain controls and other due diligence checks to stop business cooperation with those suspected of dealing in the counterfeit trade.

This commitment paves the way for new voluntary collaboration programs between intermediaries and brand owners to stop abuse of the global supply chain by counterfeiters.

“We are proud to be among the first in our industry to sign this historic Declaration,” said Michael Jul Hansen, Customs and Trade Compliance Lead for Maersk Line. “Maersk has been a leader in taking steps to prevent the use of our vessels for the shipment of counterfeit and other illicit goods, and this Declaration is a reaffirmation of our intent to do everything we can to ensure our ships are counterfeit free.”

The Declaration is a direct reaction to the concerns of brand owners that vessels transporting their legitimate products were also being exploited by criminal networks to transport fake versions. This phenomenon was summarized in a landmark report on the Role and Responsibilities of Intermediaries: Fighting Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Supply Chain, published in 2015 by BASCAP. Following publication of the report, BASCAP organized a working group of its members to initiate a cross-sector dialogue with the transport industry to discuss ways to work together to find voluntary solutions. Source: Maritime Executive 

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ICC – The mightiness of three capital letters

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Who would have guessed that a collection of three-letter acronyms would have had such an impact on the development of international (and domestic) commercial transactions? A group of industrialists, financiers and traders whose determination to bring economic prosperity to a post-World War I era eventually led to the founding of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). With no global system of rules to govern trade, it was these businessmen who saw the opportunity to create an industry standard that would become known as the Incoterms rules.

To keep pace with the ever evolving global trade landscape, the latest update to the trade terms is currently in progress and is set to be unveiled in 2020. The Incoterms 2020 Drafting Group includes lawyers, traders and company representatives from around the world. The overall process will take two years as practical input on what works and what could possibly be improved will be collected from a range of Incoterms rules users worldwide and studied. For more information visit the ICC websiteSource: ICC 

What border barriers impede business ability?

ICCThe International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released the results of its survey ‘What border barriers impede business ability?’. The analyses highlights common impediments to cross border trading that can be taken into consideration when determining how barriers to trade can be reduced to stimulate global economic growth.

The ICC recognises that the survey results are neither statistically valid nor entirely representative of the hundreds of thousands of organizations that trade globally, the survey does much to reveal a set of common prerequisites – such as predictability, reliability and consistency – that international traders seek. The ICC concludes that there is a need for further capacity-building efforts, in particular education and availability of information for both traders and border control officials on the correct process to follow. The survey results illustrates the need for an effective customs-business dialogue at national level to find ways to lessen delays in trade processes and shorten release times, as called for by ICC.

The survey coincides with a number of international developments seeking to facilitate trade and simplify border procedures. These include the conclusion of a multilateral agreement on trade facilitation at the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in December 2013 and the ongoing negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Negotiations. Source: International Chamber of Commerce

Indonesia paves the way for ATA System implementation

ATA-Carnet_sourceAs part of Indonesia’s move towards globalization, Indonesian Customs, jointly with ICC Indonesia and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is preparing the implementation of the ATA System in Indonesia.

They aim to announce Indonesia’s ratification of the Convention on the temporary admission of goods (the so-called Istanbul Convention) at the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, being held in Bali in December, as well as to implement the ATA Carnet System for the temporary duty and tax-free import and export of goods in Indonesia in early 2014.

Indonesia features among the 10 priority target countries where businessmen from countries already operating the system would like to be able to use their ATA Carnets. To meet these expectations, Indonesian governmental authorities and business organizations invited Ms Lee Ju Song, Director of ICC Asia, to conduct a two-day workshop and series of meetings in Jakarta on 1-5 July 2013 to understand the technical intricacies of the ATA System operation. They benefited from very practical and technical training, as well as from guidance on steps they should take to finalize their affiliation to the ATA Chain.

The ATA Carnet System – celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013 – is jointly administered by the World Customs Organization, holding the international conventions on the temporary admission of goods, and the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF), acting as the administrator of the ATA International Guarantee Chain. This chain comprises the chambers of commerce and other similar business organizations appointed in their respective countries to guarantee and issue Carnets.

ATA Carnets remove the need for exporters to provide Customs authorities with the otherwise necessary guarantees required for goods to cross borders. In the 73 countries where they are currently accepted, Carnets allow all kinds of goods to be temporarily transported. This usually pertains to professional equipment, commercial samples and material for trade fairs and exhibitions. Some examples of note include: a prototype solar car, World Cup yachts, Giorgio Armani apparel, McLaren Grand Prix cars, Munich Symphony Orchestra instruments, Australian Olympic horses, Harley Davidson motorcycles and equipment for the Bolshoi Ballet, Cirque du Soleil, BBC and CNN. More than 175,000 ATA Carnets are issued yearly for thousands of customs transactions worth over US$ 25 billion. Source: International Chamber of Commerce