What Is Iata Standard Ground Handling Agreement

Many of the changes are editorial only and modify SGHA 2013. However, some changes are significant and focus on operational practices, improved standards, training, bankruptcies, claims, and compliance in general. We briefly reviewed the key changes to the main agreement and Appendix B and discussed what they might mean for users. In the 2013 SGHA, there was some confusion as to the time limit that applies to a carrier`s claim for compensation. The confusion was caused by the following sentence: “Any claim shall be submitted within the time limits set out in Article 31.2 of the 1999 Montreal Convention”. Article 31.2 specifies the Convention`s time limits for asserting claims by the supplier in respect of damaged and delayed goods, which are 14 and 21 days respectively. It does not respond to a freight forwarder`s claims against a ground handler. The training provisions of the new clause 5.6 provide for a minimum knowledge of the rules and regulations for the material handling agent and refer to IATA documents in clause 5.3. This new clause will protect handling companies if an airline tries to circumvent an unfavourable contract and simply makes its requirements “at the source”. The 38th edition of IATA`s Airport Handling Manual (AHM) is now online.

The AHM contains the latest version of the SGHA, which reflects developments in aviation and more broadly, resulting from consultation and input from airlines, handling companies and other industry stakeholders. In practice, however, it is difficult to imagine unless an airline has sufficient resources (such as ground support personnel and equipment) ready to play the role of an established handler. The activity of most airlines is lighter and becoming leaner. The insolvency of carriers can also have deeper effects. For example, the UK`s CAA suspended Monarch Airlines` AOC when it filed for bankruptcy in October 2017, forcing it to cease operations with immediate effect. They no longer needed groundhandling services. It will be interesting to see how claims are handled and whether this translates into internal airline processes for tracking and tracking cargo claims. Improvements may occur if airlines use more detailed documentation requirements for cargo shipments and irregularity handling (in Appendix A, sections 5.3.1 and 5.7 respectively). IATA has explicitly referred to its resolutions and standard practices as reference points for the provision of services to businesses and has listed them verbatim in new paragraphs 5.3 (a) and (b). The new clause 3.3 of the SGHA 2018 prohibits self-handling if an airline has already outsourced it as part of the SGHA. In Europe, for example, the 1996 EU Groundhandling Directive (96/67/EC) opened up the groundhandling market to competition and maintained the air carrier`s general freedom to do itself at an airport. Amended clause 7.3 and new clause 7.4 give the handler the right to suspend services if the airline does not pay in the event of insolvency or requires immediate advance payment or cash payment.

Given the historical liquidity issues that some airlines have faced, it is perhaps surprising that these clauses have not been previously included in the SGHA. This does not mean that handling companies will be anything other than unsecured creditors for unpaid invoices. Depending on the applicable law of the SGHA, advance payments or cash advances may violate applicable local bankruptcy regulations. And what is the position when the load is completely lost? Article 31.2 of the MC99 does not prescribe an initial time limit for claims for lost cargo, although any claim for damages expires unless the proceedings are initiated within two years (Article 35). SGHA 2018 crystallized broader audit rights under clause 5.9 to allow other airlines within an IATA audit pool to audit the handling company in favor of that pool. .