West Blue, IATA Implement Cargo XML For Airlines

Aminu Uthman Oluwatoni

West Blue Consulting, the technical partners of the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) project, is working in close partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to ensure that airlines start using an electronic format called Cargo XML to submit their cargo data to customs before landing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

The Cargo XML, which is expected to replace the existing Cargo IMP, would be implemented on 28th May 2017, Aminu Uthman Oluwatoni, Manager Project of West Blue said at IATA Day 2017 held in Accra.

As part of the implementation of the Cargo XML, he said notification, including User Guide from Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority ( GRA), took effect on 19th April 2017.

Mr Oluwatoni added that the commencement of the Cargo XML service on a pilot basis would start on 28th April 2017, and would be enforced on 28th June, this year.

Cargo-XML Recommendation Paper has recommended to airlines to use standard IATA Cargo-XML to exchange electronic information along the air freight supply chain as the alternative to the current IATA Standard Cargo-IMP.

In Ghana, West Blue Consulting is deploying the Cargo XML standard as part of the GNSW Electronic Air Manifest System to modernize the old Cargo IMP messages by leveraging new technology for maximum benefits, according to him.

Mr Oluwatoni used the opportunity to enumerate some of the benefits of the Cargo XMl.

These, he mentioned, include the reduction of cost development, transmission, maintenance and support; promotion of the use of a common, universally accepted standard within the supply chain; and compatible with the standards of other industry bodies, such as the World Customs Organization (WCO).

Also, the Cargo XML, according to him, facilitates implementation of electronic air waybill (e-AWB), e-Freight and Advance Cargo Information (ACI); enables greater participation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in e-commerce throughout the logistics chain; provides business rules to improve efficiency and compliance with regulations, such as ACI, improves data quality and allows for a quicker response to frequently changing requirements, and facilitates direct exchange of data by providing easy implementation between partners.

The IATA Day 2017 brought together members of IATA, stakeholders in the aviation industry and policy-makers to discuss opportunities and challenges, among others.

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