ACEX Shares Experience of New Type of Air Waybills: Experience in Europe and Russia

Electronic forms for airfreight processing: experience in Europe and Russia.

Moscow, Russia, April 04, 2015 --( Growing volume of airfreight transportations entails a great deal of important requirements to the logistics companies. Final client is interested in higher speed of services, lower expenses, and minimum paperwork. Thanks to online customs filing, international airlines offer a new way to optimize information exchange between the transportation participants.

Employees of Optima Freight, a member of ACEX Group in Finland, became the first ones who tested a new form of cargo processing by means of electronic air waybill.

“In the beginning of this year we have processed our first electronic waybill and sent cargo from Finland to Seoul, Korea by the airline Finnair,” shares her experience Julia Nikiforova, client manager of Optima Freight, “In order to pass on to electronic waybills it is necessary to get access to the system of the airline in case the forwarding agent does not have its own system to exchange electronic messages with Finnair's system. It occurred to be not difficult to book and to fill in the waybill. While booking it was required to choose day, place of destination, flight and indicate cargo details. Columns for filling in are the same as in the paper document. When you hand cargo in the airport you should only inform of the air waybill and export declaration numbers. Direct booking on the Finnair web site and FWB preparation were successful and the cargo was delivered just in time.”

In the opinion of the European freight forwarders electronic processing it is a fast and convenient method. Recommended IATA documents for passing on to the electronic waybills was approved and supported by a majority of countries.
Electronic air waybills have many advantages in comparison with their paper precursors:
- Decreased expenses for printing, paper use, archivation;
- higher productivity, absence of misprints, online access to data, no delays in documents examination or cargo processing because of loss of original waybills, no time expenditure for original documents issue and transfer to airlines;
- higher reliability of transportation;
- observance of norms and requirements of the airlines and the whole industry (the system won’t approve waybill in case it does not meet the requirements).

In August 2014 Finnair refused to use paper air waybills. “It is difficult to speak about full switching to the electronic air waybills. In Finland it is required only by Finnair,” comments Nikita Kovalevski, Commercial director in ACEX Finland, “However the industry developing is aimed at electronic data exchange between the process participants.”

What is happening with introduction of electronic air waybills in Russia?

“Electronic air waybills (hereinafter e-awb) are not acknowledged in Russia,” informs Alexandra Chagina, the Head of airfreight department, “The systems of airlines are blocked for cargo acceptance by e-awb in Russia that is why even Finnair sends cargo to Sheremetyevo under paper waybill.”

In accordance with the Russian legislation the document is to be printed in several copies for all participants of transportation: shipper, consignee, airline, agent, airport of origin, airport of destination, customs of both countries. Upon arrival the paper document should be sealed by the field customs, terminal and inspector. All these seals are required for other official authorities. For example, bank needs to see the seals to close transaction passport; tax inspection - to refund VAT while confirmation of actual cargo release.

According to Alexandra Chagina’s opinion it is highly improbable that in the near future more convenient and faster form of airfreight processing should be introduced in our country: “Transport ministry can develop norms and standards for e-awb. But unless their legality is agreed upon with all state authorities mentioned above introduction of e-awb will be postponed. Future belongs to electronic transport documents. However, owing to bureaucracy of paperwork in our country active use of electronic processing is impossible.”

ACEX Alliance Press Center

ACEX Alliance (Associated Cargo Experts)
It is the first Russian Worldwide Logistics Alliance which combines independent Russian and foreign forwarders. Its goal is to develop joint business in the field of logistics and customs clearance in the territory of Russia and the CIS countries. The members of the Alliance are the strongest and experienced forwarding companies form different countries of the world. Additional information of the Alliance, ACEX Conference, event program and its location you can get by e-mail or on the web-page of the ACEX Alliance .
Elena Baranova
+749 566 600 95