BIFA Welcomes Confirmation That Freight Forwarders Have Won Insurance Exemption

Feltham, United Kingdom, August 11, 2007 --( Following a four-year campaign by the British International Freight Association (BIFA) – - Treasury officials have confirmed that the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) Exemption for freight forwarders has now come into force.

This means that freight forwarders should be able to obtain an open cover policy without the need to register with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in order to provide insurance to their customers.

Following the introduction of the Insurance Mediation Directive in January 2005, many freight forwarding companies withdrew the offer to provide insurance to their customers. Now, companies, which are not currently authorised and can comply with the conditions of the exemption, will be able to resume the provision of insurance services.

However, freight forwarders that have already obtained authorisation from the FSA will continue to be authorised and liable for FSA fees unless they apply to cancel their authorisation. This can be done by using the cancellation form which is available from the FSA's website (

In order not to be charged fees for the current year, freight forwarders that have FSA authorisation must complete this process within six weeks from July 20th - when the new legislation came into force.

The exemption will initially only apply to the provision of insurance for commercial customers. It will not apply where a freight forwarder or storage company is doing such business with a private individual. Authorisation will still be required in these circumstances.

BIFA Director General, Colin Beaumont said: “I am delighted that our campaign to secure an exemption from the requirements of the Insurance Mediation Directive for freight forwarders, which has involved a change in UK legislation, has been successful.

“BIFA is the primary UK trade association providing effective representation and support for the UK international freight services industry. As such, we provide a conduit through which the views of our members are listened to in many quarters.

“Our success in gaining this exemption was due entirely to our persistence and conviction that we were right to protect the interests of our industry, in the name of freedom to trade and in the face of unfair competition. It is a testimony to the lobbying activities that we undertake on behalf of our members.

“Now, we are investigating the establishment of a Consumer Code of Practice, which, subject to the approval of Ministers, could extend the exemption to freight forwarders’ retail customers at a later date.”


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About BIFA

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) represents UK companies engaged in the international movement of freight by all modes of transport. A not-for-profit organisation, BIFA is funded by subscription and run by its members for members. It operates with a full-time Secretariat, which administers and manages the Association’s affairs. BIFA provides an effective and proactive organisation dedicated to improving standards of professionalism within the logistics and supply chain industry.
British International Freight Association
Ian Matheson
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