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Jan.12, 2015

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46 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE JANUARY 12.2015 2015 ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK GOVERNMENT E X E C U T I V E CO M M E N TA RY $80 million annually for naviga- tion projects. At the end of 2014, National Waterways Foundation released a groundbreaking inland navigation investment and economic impact study that will change the conversa - tion for 2015 and beyond. Read it here: http://www.nationalwater- INLANDNAVIGATIONINTHEUS- DECEMBER2014.pdf. Inland transportation is critical to the supply chain, and it benefits farmers, shippers, manufacturers, steel producers, agribusinesses, towboat operators and just about every American consumer. WORLD CUSTOMS ORGANIZATION KUNIO MIKURIYA SECRETARY GENERAL IN NOVEMBER 2014, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement got back on track, and there is renewed optimism that it will advance in 2015. While the process unfolds at the World Trade Organization, the structure of the global economy and its related trade flows will develop further and countries will be facing new opportunities and chal - lenges in this evolving global trade environment. Going forward, maximizing the potential benefits of trade facilitation is dependent on a num - ber of factors. First, Coordinated Border Management is pivotal and can result in better service deliv- ery, less duplication, cost-savings through economies of scale, enhanced risk management with fewer but better targeted interven- tions, cheaper transport costs, reduced waiting times, lower infrastructure improvement costs, wider sharing of information and intelligence, and strengthened connectivity between all border agencies. Other critical success factors are Customs-Business Partner - ships as the two sectors play vital roles in this context. For instance, promoting voluntary compliance and offering appropriate trade facilitation benefits is an area where customs and business can work jointly to improve border processes. In today's trading environment, regional economic integration is on the rise. Sometimes the physical, economic and political geography of countries pose challenges to their economic development. Geography plays a role, for instance, in land - locked and small island countries. National economies and popula- tions may be small, but cover large geographic expanses with poorly connected infrastructure. Regional integration and cooperation offer means to overcome these obstacles and be competitive in the regional and global marketplace as, for example, the emergence of free trade areas covering more than one region show. There are available solutions to the aforementioned challenges. The World Customs Organization instruments, tools and technical assistance under the WCO Merca - tor Program — and also the WTO TFA in the future — provide for the opportunity to implement global trade facilitation standards that are harmonized, consistent, and will contribute to economic growth. WORLD SHIPPING COUNCIL ANNE MARIE KAPPEL VICE PRESIDENT 2015 WILL SEE container shipping lines addressing a number of impor- tant changes, including: l Container ship operators will con- tinue to pursue improved operating efficiencies through the use of larger, more fuel-efficient vessels and the use of alliances and vessel- sharing agreements to broaden service offerings. In addition, 2015 will see lines complete their net- work planning for the new larger Panama Canal locks that are scheduled to open in early 2016. l Effective Jan. 1, ships operating in the emission control areas of North America, the North Sea and the Bal- tic will be required to use fuel with a sulfur content of 0.1 percent or less, which will add significant cost to the operation of those services. l 2015 could also be the year when the mandatory installation of new ballast water treatment technology becomes effective. This will occur once the U.S. Coast Guard issues type-approval for ballast water treatment technologies. Similarly, the IMO Ballast Water Convention may come into force interna - tionally if a few more countries ratify it, and this could expand the required application of treat- ment technology. These events will require a multibillion-dollar capi- tal expenditure from the industry. l The IMO has adopted the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirement that the weight of a packed export container be verified as a condition for vessel loading. The SOLAS container weight veri - fication requirement will enter into force on July 1, 2016, so in 2015, all entities in the supply chain, as well as governments, will be planning their implementation processes for the new regulation. l In 2015, ocean carriers will see changes in the way they exchange manifest information with govern- ments. In the U.S., the Automated Commercial Environment export manifest system will be fully implemented, which will end the filing of paper export manifests and will facilitate the use of ACE for all import and export manifest submissions. In Europe, the Euro- pean Commission will decide how to amend its advance cargo data filing regime, which will impact ocean carriers as well as shippers and forwarders. JOC In today's trading environment, regional economic integration is on the rise. 2015 could also be the year when the mandatory installation of new ballast water treatment technology becomes effective.

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