New airline and forwarder air cargo program – IFACP – launches in Canada

Freight forwarder association FIATA and airlines’ body IATA have launched their long-awaited Air Cargo Program (IFACP) in Canada.
The programme, developed to meet the changing needs of the air cargo industry, will be rolled out globally following the Canadian pilot, and replaces the existing Cargo Agency Program. It will be managed jointly by freight forwarders and airlines as equal partners in the decision-making process.
IFCAP, initiated after a 2012 review of the existing programme and first unveiled in July 2016, reflects the evolution of IATA cargo agents or freight forwarders from being ‘selling-agents’ for airlines into ‘purchasing customers’ and aims to involve forwarders as equal partners in the decision making process.
A new IATA-FIATA Governance Board (IFGB) has been established to run the programme, which provides a framework of industry standards that are relevant and in line with best practices and safety regulations.
In a joint statement, IATA and FIATA said that existing Cargo Agency Program members will join IFACP “with no further assessment” and will continue their existing enrolment in the Cargo Account Settlement Systems (CASS), which remains unchanged, under the jurisdiction of the Cargo Agency Conference.
The new IFACP Freight Forwarder Agreement will govern the relationship between freight forwarders and air carriers participating in the programme.
“Simplifying the governance structure reduces the administrative requirement to manage the programme,” said Juan Antonio Rodriguez, IATA director of financial and distribution services (FDS) operations.
He added: “Given that more than 80% of transactions are performed by freight forwarders acting as principals, the proposed IFACP better clarifies and validates the business through a buyer-seller relationship."
Both parties stated that IFACP addresses the "principal-to-principal relationship between freight forwarders and airlines", helping to clarify liability issues on cargo claims, as well as supporting members to work towards key industry goals such as e-freight adoption, he concluded.
During the roll out, current participants of the IATA Cargo Agency/Intermediary Program will be provided with a new agreement and will automatically join IFACP and continue their existing enrollment in CASS once they have signed and returned the paperwork.
New applicants will need to submit a form and meet the defined financial and operational criteria.
“FIATA is pleased that the implementation phase is now a reality, a true testament to the hard work and sustained efforts of both Forwarders and Carriers over the past few years,” said Keshav Tanna, incoming chairman of FIATA’s Air Freight Institute.
“We are optimistic that the IFACP will foster innovation to deal with the commercial challenges facing the air cargo industry.”
IATA airline members will automatically transfer to the new programme on the date on which IATA declares IFACP effective in any given region or country.
Ruth Snowden, executive director of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA), said: “Our relatively small, well-connected airline and forwarder community makes Canada a natural for the IFACP pilot country.
“We are pleased that Canada is the first to engage in this new, collaborative program, which better reflects the reality of today’s current principal to principal relationship between airlines and forwarders.”

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