With the possibility of new shipping container cleanliness regulations adding to movers’ costs and shipping lines apparently charging unfairly, FIDI has actively pressed decision-makers on both issues. Marie-Pascale Frix, Business intelligence Manager at FIDI Global Alliance, reports on significant recent developments
Container cleanliness and potential new global phytosanitary measures
The last two years have seen upheavals in the shipping industry that have seriously impacted the international moving sector. As part of its efforts to defend its members’ interests and to keep them informed about current global developments, FIDI has been actively involved in different industry-wide actions.
At the end of 2021, FIDI was alerted that a new set of globally applicable measures had been proposed to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) by the World Shipping Council. If accepted, these measures would directly impact the moving and relocation industry. [See www.fidifocus.org/news/fidi-issues-statement-on-detrimental-phytosanitary-proposals/ for background information].
The proposals, which aim to minimise pest contamination of containers and cargoes, shift the responsibility for the condition of an empty container to the ‘shipper’, which, in the case of an international move, means the moving company. This would lead to movers facing extra costs, logistical challenges, and liability for any pest contamination in a sea container.
We are pleased to report a major encouraging development in this important issue. Thanks to the joint efforts led by the Global Shippers Forum, the initial proposals were not included as an official part of the Sea Containers Task Force report at this stage.
The proposals do remain as official annexes, however, together with counter-proposals from the Global Shippers Forum.
This confirms the need for container cleanliness to be taken seriously by all shippers; the risk for additional national or global mandatory measures on container cleanliness remains high on the agenda – and should not be underestimated.
Earlier this year, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) adopted the Sea Containers Task Force report and made three decisions:
- To form a focus group to develop new global measures for container cleanliness
- To form a separate Industry Advisory Group (IAG) to work on non-regulatory measures (with two seats on the focus group)
- To host an international workshop in September 2022 to discuss the options for regulating container cleanliness.
Representatives of international industry bodies were invited to submit their candidacies to participate in the IAG. FIDI and IAM have both been officially selected to represent their specific industries in this new working committee, whose purpose is to provide advice, suggestions, and recommendations regarding container cleanliness.
‘By joining the group, FIDI will have the opportunity to represent the views from the quality certified international removal sector, and thereby defend the best interests of FIDI-FAIM movers,’ says FIDI Secretary General, Jesse van Sas, representing FIDI.
A call for fairness
The global moving and mobility industry relies heavily on international shipping to provide a seamless service to their customers. In the wake of the severe disruption faced by shippers as the result of the ongoing sector crisis, FIDI has joined forces with other organisations in the moving and logistics sector, as well as in the broader supply chain, to put further pressure on the shipping industry.
To protest against the dominant position of shipping lines in the current shipping crisis, FIDI, IAM, PAIMA and LACMA have issued a joint statement supporting the call for action from the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the policy positions it outlines – you can read the full statement at www.fidifocus.org/news/international-moving-bodies-join-call-for-shipping-market-overhaul/
With the same goal of lobbying international regulators to put an end to the unfair dominance of shipping lines in the current crisis, FIDI invited fellow associations, including IAM, to put this forward at the European level.
FIDI and IAM (which also represented the partner organisations LACMA, PAIMA and OMNI) have co-signed an official letter to the European Commission, signed by eight other European and International business organisations, urging the European Commission to take action against the shipping lines’ abuse of the CBER (the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation) in the EU. You can read the full statement at www.fidifocus.org/news/fidi-joins-pan-industry-call-for-ec-action-on-shipping-operations/
FIDI will continue to monitor these issues in close partnership with IAM, PAIMA, LACMA and OMNI.
A special resource page on this topic is available to FIDI Affiliates on FIDINET, with news, updates and best practices posted regularly. For more information, contact Marie-Pascale Frix at email@example.com