Oman adopts the electronic air waybill (e-AWB)

Oman has adopted IATA’s electronic air waybill (e-AWB) standard, replacing the paper document which is the contract of carriage for international airfreight shipments.

The use of e-AWB allows freight forwarders and traders to communicate directly with over 120 airline operators around the world to report and manage their shipments.

Omani traders in the Middle Eastern sultanate will also benefit from the use of the e-AWB as it will remove barriers to trade by facilitating early (pre-arrival) reporting to Customs and earlier release, reducing cargo storage time and costs.

In support of the implementation process, IATA and IT provider CHAMP Cargo Systems will offer freight forwarders online facilitation for the creation and sharing of e-AWB messages.

A spokesperson for Oman Air said: “This means that local businesses can benefit from the electronic reporting, without the need to invest in building digital systems in their businesses.”

Oman Air Cargo and Omani government-owned logistics unit Asyad last week conducted an e-AWB workshop for trade partners and airlines by inviting delegates from IATA and CHAMP systems to share the best practices and create awareness about e-AWB.

At the event, Oman Air Cargo became e-AWB compliant by signing the IATA Resolution 672, Attachment D agreement.

Mohammed Ali Al Musafir, senior vice president, Oman Air Cargo said: “The digital advancement is changing the way industries operate. Oman Air Cargo is always at the forefront of adopting the latest e-initiatives to further develop the standards of the air freight industry in Oman and make trade easier and faster for all industry players.”

Mazen Al Homsi, IATA regional cargo manager for the Middle East and Africa, said: “The adoption of e-AWB will develop the air cargo community in Oman.”

He added: “The e-AWB system that Oman Air Cargo is implementing will allow it to safely and proficiently empower its freight customers to perform the most essential tasks for cargo booking and data capture.”

News of the Omani e-AWB initiative comes as IATA reports that global adoption of the electronic standard is still behind schedule.

Latest IATA figures for July 2018 show that e-AWB was 56.3%, an increase of 1.6 percentage points but still short of the 68.0% e-AWB penetration target for December 2018.

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