The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand (CBAFF) has welcomed a stand by the international body, which would help consumers reap the benefits of falling oil prices.
The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) is calling for airlines globally to drop fuel and security surcharges in airline freight rates.
CBAFF Executive Director Rosemarie Dawson said the practice of adding the surcharges, additional to stated shipping costs, is known as ‘headlining’ and has been illegal in New Zealand since 1986. However, it is still common practice among many foreign airlines flying cargo in and out of New Zealand.
“Oil prices have dropped globally, the price of airline fuel has dropped and there is, understandably, an expectation among New Zealand consumers that cargo costs will fall and imported goods will be cheaper,” said Ms Dawson.
“However, the laws regarding headlining only apply to airlines domiciled in New Zealand. We have no control over pricing practices of airlines flying cargo in and out of New Zealand which are not domiciled here. Therefore, the benefits of lower airline fuel costs are not currently flowing on to the Kiwi consumer.”
FIATA has called for all airlines globally to eliminate fuel and security surcharges in airline freight rates and some foreign airlines have now announced they will adopt a simplified “all-in” cargo rate structure.
“Freight forwarders internationally have been calling for a long time for these surcharges to be removed,” said Ms Dawson. “Criticism of the practice has intensified following the fall in fuel prices and it is welcome news that some freight airlines have agreed to do this.
“We hope that others will follow suit and that, through a collaborative approach between FIATA and airlines, New Zealand consumers will start to see flow-on benefits of lower cargo costs.”