- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) are now connected via the integration of the IATA's Cargo-XML messaging system into the WCO's Cargo Targeting System (WCO CTS), an IATA press release reported Tuesday. The WCO CTS serves as a tool to aid risk assessment for WCO members across the globe.
- The integration of XML establishes electronic communication between airlines and customs authorities using the IATA format. Communication will become simpler and more effective, as well as enhance risk assessments by customs authorities who rely on the application to scan electronic cargo manifest information.
- The implementation of IATA's Cargo-XML system eradicates the long-standing constraints posed by the former Cargo Interchange Message Procedures (Cargo-IMP) and allows for both broader and easier data communication. Cargo-XML is considered the primary language for enhancing e-commerce. Its use enables trade growth for the air cargo industry.
The air cargo industry has struggled to fully digitize, but implementing better electronic communication between airlines and customs authorities is a big step forward.
The process of adoption for Cargo-XML has been slow, with the first conversion occurring in August of 2016 when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency accepted the technology for use to collect data on U.S. export shipments. Since then, an initiative by the IATA have included a call to go paperless entirely through digitization of the industry, earning the support of the CEO of IAG Cargo, who referred to the industry's inefficiencies as nearly criminal.
Joining forces with the WCO is seen as a strategic move to enhance alignment between systems within the industry. "Currently, airlines are confronted worldwide with multiple Advance Electronic Information requirements set by regulators in order to assess risks and target high-risk consignments," Katherine Kaczynska, manager of corporate communications for the IATA told Supply Chain Dive.
"Unfortunately those national regulatory requirements are not always aligned with existing international standards such as those resulting from the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade," Kaczynska added. "The alignment between the IATA and the WCO resolves the conflict, however. "The fact that this WCO CTS now has an air module supporting IATA standards and messaging capabilities makes it possible for interested WCO Members to apply Advance Electronic Information requirements aligned with the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards without imposing burdensome, specific new messaging developments for airlines."