E-Flash No. 100 – 6 July 2015

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  1. Mr. Ki-tack Lim (Republic of Korea) elected as IMO Secretary-General

Mr. Ki-tack Lim (Republic of Korea) has been elected as the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), with effect from 1 January 2016, for an initial term of four years.

The vote took place during the 114th session of the 40-Member strong IMO Council, which is meeting from 29 June to 3 July 2015. To read more on the newly elect SG please visit: http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/30-SG-election.aspx

 

  1. Kazakh President Hails Completion Of WTO Accession Talks

Kazakhstan is to formally become the WTO's 162nd member in December after the nation's accession package won members' final approval in Geneva on June 22. Membership of the WTO would "provide our enterprises with access to foreign markets, and consumers with a wide selection of goods and services." The government would continue supporting agriculture even after the country becomes a WTO member. To read more please visit: http://www.rferl.org/content/kazakhstan-nazarbaev-wto-talks-completed/27086687.html

 

  1. ICAO and International Transport Forum to co-operate on aviation issues

ICAO and the International Transport Forum (ITF) have signed an agreement aimed at increasing cooperation. Under the terms of the three-year memorandum of collaboration (MoC), the bodies will undertake joint research, host events together and exchange information and staff.

Mutual interests identified in the MoC include: the liberalisation of global air transport; the security of air travellers; and aviation infrastructure investment. To read more please visit: http://www.mro-network.com/news/2015/06/icao-and-itf-further-collaborate/5623#sthash.iaU7lvsx.dpuf

 

  1. GLOBAL TRADE DEVELOPMENT WEEK (GTDW) 2015 - Oct 27-29 2015

The GTDW is a major international forum committed to increase knowledge, capabilities & dialogue between government & private sector trade leaders to deliver international trade development. Held Under Patronage of Minister of Economy, UAE and partnered by Dubai Customs & Dubai Economic Council.

The ambitious programme hosts 150 leading speakers and includes The Ministers & Trade Leaders Plenary, 5 concurrent major trade summits, site tours, networking receptions and a leading trade exhibition - Attendees can select a programme that addresses their specific requirements and interests as well as opting for workshops & tours. If interested to know and would like to participate, please visit: http://www.kwglobaltrade.com/register.html

 

  1. Transport ministers approve Quality Charter for road freight

A Quality Charter for international road haulage operations has been approved by the transport ministers of the European member countries of the International Transport Forum at the OECD. This is a major step towards harmonisation of conditions in the Pan-European road haulage market.

The ITF will monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Quality Charter by the member countries through its European Road Transport Group. It will also define follow-up actions for the further development of the Multilateral Quota system. To read more please visit: http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/Press/PDFs/2015-06-22-MQ-Charter.pdf

 

  1. IMO adopts IGF Code

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), which aims to minimise the risk to the environment.

The Code addresses all areas that need special consideration for the usage of low-flashpoint fuels, taking a goal-based approach. To read more about the development please visit: http://www.greenport.com/news101/Regulation-and-Policy/imo-adopts-igf-code?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRohvarMZKXonjHpfsX86ugsWrHr08Yy0EZ5VunJEUWy3IECSNQ%2FcOedCQkZHblFnVQASa2xS7kNoqwE

 

  1. Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: The Potential Impact on Trade Costs

The 2015 OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators (TFIs) find that the implementation of the TFA could reduce worldwide trade costs by between 12.5% and 17.5%. Countries which implement the TFA in full will reduce their trade costs by between 1.4 and 3.9 percentage points more than those that do only the minimum that the TFA requires.

The 2015 OECD TFIs cover 152 countries across different geographical regions and levels of development. Using cost estimates from the updated ESCAP-World Bank Trade Costs Dataset, they provide the most current assessment of the potential impact of implementing the measures included in the WTO TFA. View the complete analysis at: http://www.oecd.org/trade/tradedev/WTO-TF-Implementation-Policy-Brief_EN_2015_06.pdf

 

  1. ICAO Confirms New E-Cigarette Restrictions

ICAO has amended the 2015-2016 edition of its Technical Instructions prohibiting passengers and crew from carrying e-cigarettes and other battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in checked baggage.

ICAO first advised its Member States of electronic smoking device safety issues in December 2014. To read more please visit: http://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Confirms-New-E-Cigarette-Restrictions.aspx

 

  1. Botswana ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement

Botswana has become the eighth WTO member to ratify the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The WTO Secretariat received the country's instrument of acceptance on 18 June.

Keep in mind that the agreement will only enter into force once a full two-thirds of the WTO membership, 108 members, formally accept it. So far, it has been ratified by Hong Kong, China, Singapore, the U.S., Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan and Australia, representing 6 % of the total needed, according to the WTO. To continue to follow up on developments please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news15_e/fac_18jun15_e.htm

 

  1. Greece Willing to Raise Taxes on Merchant Ships

Greece's government is willing to implement a higher tonnage tax on its giant merchant shipping industry, meeting its international creditors half way in their demands that the country does away with lucrative tax breaks for shippers.

International creditors have asked Athens to impose higher taxes on its mainstay shipping sector-a move the government has long been loath to do for fear of sending shipping companies fleeing Greece. For further information on the topic please visit: http://www.wsj.com/articles/greece-willing-to-raise-taxes-on-merchant-ships-1435342393

 

  1. Airports Commission recommends third Heathrow runway

A new runway at Heathrow, with a ban on night flights, is the best way to boost Britain's economy and secure the UK's future in global aviation, according to the independent Airports Commission. That is the long-awaited judgment from the panel led by Sir Howard Davies, the economist, set up by David Cameron in 2012 to settle decades of political controversy over airport expansion in southeast England.

A third runway could generate up to £147bn for the economy over 60 years and 70,000 new jobs by 2050, he said. To read more please visit : http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1dd2c860-1fb3-11e5-ab0f-6bb9974f25d0.html#axzz3ek12b3e6