The International Air Transport Association (IATA), is the trade association of the world’s international airline industry. From 57 founding members in 1945, IATA now represents some 300 airlines in 120 countries. Carrying 83% of the world’s air traffic, IATA members include the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines.
Airlines transport over 65.6 million cargo tonnes of goods a year, representing less than 1% of global trade volume but 35% by value with over USD 6.8 trillion of goods carried by air. This shows how the aviation industry is a key enabler for greater global travel, economic links and trade. Air transport is an essential factor in connecting individual countries to the global economy, helping to improve productivity levels to benefit the national economy. Aviation connects businesses to a wide range of global markets, providing a significantly larger customer base for their products than would be accessible otherwise.
The tight connection between the global economy and the aviation industry is the reason why IATA is actively involved in promoting trade facilitation, and proactively supporting the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
Several IATA projects and initiatives are tightly linked to the TFA’s objectives and directly relate to some of its provisions, like:
- Development and advocacy of global standards and guidance materials for air cargo operations such as the e-freight/e-AWB, which simplifies documentation requirements and reduces the need for paper-based processes.
- Cargo XML messaging standard which helps to standardize and simplify the exchange of electronic cargo data between airlines and other air cargo stakeholders, including the customs authorities.
- ONE Record project, a data-sharing platform that enable the standardization and sharing of data across the air cargo supply chain, helping to streamline customs procedures and reduce trade barriers
- IATA trainings and certification programs for air cargo professionals to ensure air cargo processes and procedures are conducted in a safe, efficient and compliant manner.
- Collaboration with international organizations and NGOs like the Global Alliance for trade Facilitation, UNECE, UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre (ITC) to deliver projects and develop tools that support the implementation of the WTO TFA.
- Provision of data and analysis on air cargo performance, such as the IATA Air Cargo Market Analysis, which provides information on air cargo volumes, yields, and revenues.