As cross-border trade continues to heat up, IATA and the global banking industry agreed that it’s time for Russian airfreight to come in from the cold.
IATA’s Cargo Accounts Settlement Systems (CASS) has gone live in Russia, in partnership with Russian bank VTB and carrier Aeroflot. CASS simplifies the billing and settlement of accounts between airlines and freight forwarders through a web-enabled e-billing program.
“IATA’s CASS links Russian aviation to a massive global network, bringing tremendous efficiencies to airlines and freight forwarders” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.
At the end of 2016, CASS was operating in 93 territories worldwide, helping airlines, general sales and service agents (GSSAs) and forwarders settle a combined US$26.4 billion in freight-related transactions. CASS is a step towards removing paper-based processes from air cargo by implementing electronic air waybills (e-AWB), which is, itself, struggling to gain traction in the air cargo industry.
VTB Bank board member Victoria Vanurina noted that the CASS program rollout in Russia will, “ensure increased effectiveness and efficiency of the settlement process between Russian airlines and freight forwarders and, therefore, will facilitate further integration of Russian airlines into the global air transport industry.”
Legislation recently approved by the State Duma and signed by President Putin has ratified the Montreal Convention of 1999 (MC99), which “modernizes and unifies the international treaty regimes covering airline liability that have developed haphazardly since 1929.”
MC99 is a prerequisite for the industry’s e-cargo initiatives, such as IATA’s e-AWB and e-freight programs.
“This is a very significant development that will help speed up air cargo shipment times, improve efficiency and reduce costs for airlines and shippers on flights to and from the Russian Federation,” said Schvartzman.
Those interested in learning more about airfreight in 2017, should join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April. To register, or for more information, go to CargoFactsAsia.com
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