Customs House Weekly Series #23
Jamaica Customs First to Adopt the United Nations Automated System Integrating IATA’s Cargo eXtensibleMarkup Language (XML) Messaging Standards
Jamaica is on the brink of creating history in the air freight industry, as it will be the first country to adopt the latest version of ASYCUDA World which now integrates the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Cargo-XML messaging standards.
IATA’s Cargo XML messaging standards is emerging as the preferred standard for electronic communication among industry stakeholders such as airlines, shippers, freight forwarders, customs,security and regulatory agencies worldwide.
This historic move to adopt IATA’s Cargo XML Standards results from collaboration between IATA, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which now integrates IATA’s Cargo-XML messaging standard into ASYCUDA World, the automated customs management system used by the JCA and over 90 other countries worldwide. The integration of Cargo-XML in ASYCUDA World standardizes electronic communications between airlines and customs authorities using the program.
The new Cargo-XML messaging standards will make it easier for airlines, freight forwarders and shippers to ensure that the information being provided to Jamaica Customs is of high quality, technically correct and in line with the standards of industry bodies such as the World Customs Organization (WCO). It will also reduce message duplication and simplify communication across the supply chain.
As part of the implementation of this new messaging standards, the International Airline Training Fund (IATF), which is established by IATA to bridge industry training gaps has conducted training in the IATA XML Cargo messaging format among industry stakeholders (Airlines and Customs) in Jamaica during the first week of May 2017. The training which was held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston was facilitated under the umbrella of a Collaborative Agreement between IATA and the JCA and was conducted to ensure that Jamaica is in line with the use of this new messaging format which has become the recommended best practice in the Airline Industry.
Consequent on this successful collaboration between IATA, UNCTADand the JCA; the Agency, as part of its Asycuda World implementation, will now pilot the new IATA Cargo XML standards commencing with selected airlines and freight forwarders in the air freight industry; thereafter the use of the standards will be expanded to include other members of the airlines and freight forwarding industry.
This new Cargo-XML standard is based on multi-modal and cross-border messaging and aims at facilitating cargo business processes, satisfying customs requirements for electronic Advance CargoInformation (ACI) necessary for effective risk and security assessment of cargo prior to their arrival in the island.
The use of ACI to facilitate pre-arrival processing and release of cargo is consistent with Jamaica’s obligation under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) ratified by Jamaica. It also facilitates security requirements set out in the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards which Jamaica Customs abides by and which is necessary to ensure global supply chain security.
This move for which Jamaica Customs is a pioneering implementing administration will ensure that airlines, freight forwarders, shippers and other stakeholders are ‘speaking’ the same digital language and is fundamental to enhancing efficiency, driving trade growth and maximizing safety and security across the industry.
Jamaica Customs views the adoption and implementation of the most recentIATA Cargo XML standards as a critical step towards assisting the country in meeting its international obligations, improving cargo security, modernizing customs procedures and fostering participation in global commerce through advance electronic data submission for air cargo shipments. This will further improve the risk management capabilities and operational efficiency of the Agency as was envisaged with the implementation of the Asycuda World Customs management system.
In order to continue its work in favor of trade facilitation in Jamaica, JCA will explore with IATA, UNCTAD and the industry further initiatives towards an efficient paperless administration.