Speaking at the annual HAFFA Spring Dinner held on March 22, 2019, Chairman of the Hongkong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics Limited (HAFFA), Mr. Brian Wu, detailed the proactive steps the industry body is taking on behalf of its members during what is a challenging period for the city’s freight forwarding businesses.
Mr. Wu expressed his gratitude to HAFFA Members, the Board and Secretariat, the government and industry partners for their cooperation and supportive approach in maintaining the competitiveness of an important segment of Hong Kong’s economy.
The evening was attended by several distinguished guests including guests of honour: Secretary for Transport and Housing Mr. Frank Chan; Legislative Council Member for Transport, The Honourable Frankie Yick; Commissioner of Customs & Excise, Mr. Hermes Tang; Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr. Simon Li; and Airport Authority Hong Kong CEO, Mr. Fred Lam.
Acknowledging that while Hong Kong experienced a modest increase in air freight of 3.7% during 2018, a downturn of 5.7% in seaport container throughput indicates challenging times ahead. However, Mr. Wu took the opportunity to highlight the association’s vigorous and proactive approach to tackling the issues facing the industry while at the same time supporting its members in implementing necessary change in order to ensure its future.
During a busy 12 months, HAFFA organized a Security Forum for members and attended strategy meetings with government and industry bodies, conducted surveys, successfully negotiated preferential commercial benefits for members, and represented the industry both at home and abroad.
Key topics highlighted by the HAFFA Chairman included the new ICAO policy direction and resulting changes to the Regulated Agent Regime, an issue which continues to present a number of key challenges for the industry. In addition to clarifying the complex details of the policy and their implications for its members, HAFFA organized a new CAD-recognized training programme which incorporated both Regulated Agent Regime (RAR) and Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facility (RACSF) requirements at the same time. To help alleviate the substantial financial burden resulting from the new regulations, HAFFA liaised with numerous x-ray equipment and screener service providers to seek cost-effective solutions and substantial discounts for its members.
To communicate Members’ concerns on an on-going basis in areas such as RACSF applications, possible financial support, common screening facilities, the Known Consignor (KC) scheme and secure road transportation, HAFFA actively shared views on the Aircargo Security Task Force chaired by the Hon Frankie Yick.
In closing, Mr. Wu reiterated other controversial issues remain, and HAFFA will continue to collect views from Members and strengthen its role as a bridge between government, trade bodies and the association. The Hongkong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics Limited was established in 1966, and is responsible for setting industry standards as well as providing educational courses which enhance the professional standards of the freight forwarders and logistics providers in Hong Kong.