The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) have recently announced that an agreement has been signed by Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO and Huxiang Zhao, President of FIATA, to implement the IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program (IFACP) to replace the existing IATA Cargo Agency Program. Over the decades that the IATA Cargo Agency Program has operated; IATA Cargo Agents (freight forwarders) have evolved from being 'selling-agents' for airlines to being their 'purchasing-customers'. In consideration of this evolution, in 2012 IATA and FIATA joined forces to review, refine and re-engineer the existing Agency Program. The new program moves decision-making on the rules governing the airline-forwarder relationship away from an airline-led conference to a governance body - the IATA-FIATA Governance Board (IFGB) - jointly managed by forwarders and airlines, which reflects today’s market conditions. “IATA and FIATA have reached an important agreement on a new jointly-managed air cargo program. This is the result of four years of hard work to modernize the relationship between freight forwarders and airlines. The IFACP also provides a framework to ensure that industry standards are relevant, pragmatic and fit for purpose. These standards cover the endorsement of freight forwarders and more broadly the safe, secure and efficient transportation of air cargo shipments”, said Aleks Popovich, IATA, Senior Vice President, Financial and Distribution Services. “The Cargo Agency Program has long needed updating. I am really pleased that FIATA and IATA have joined forces to provide our industry with a new, modern program and a framework for operation that benefits both airlines and freight forwarders. IFACP will eliminate unnecessary administrative procedures and costs as well as free up valuable resources to tackle the complex challenges that today’s global trade presents. These include regulatory compliance, safety and security and the introduction of new technologies. This agreement paves the way for a more successful future for the fastest and most fascinating mode of international transport”, remarked Mr. Rudi Sagel, Chairman of FIATA’s Airfreight Institute (AFI). The phased rollout of IFACP will begin in early 2017 with Canada as the pilot country. It is anticipated that full global rollout will be completed by end of 2018. The public signature with the common endorsement of the agreement will take place at the October FIATA World Congress which will be held in Dublin, Ireland.