On Friday (27 August) the federal government announced a further $260.9 million in funding to extend the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) to mid-2022. This will give some breathing space to Australian export businesses that rely on airfreight while they adapt to the ongoing effects imposed on the international trade environment by the COVID pandemic.
The IFAM was introduced in April last yearÂ when Australia closed its borders, restricting the number of international flights by more than 90%. Farmers and exporters whoÂ had relied on passenger flights to deliver fresh produce into overseas markets lost access to their customers, with damage bills runningÂ into the millions.Â It is a temporary, targeted, emergency support measure.
Since its introduction, IFAM has reconnected flights between 9 Australian airports and 58 international destinations, proving popular with exporters who claim they could not afford to send produce overseas otherwise. It facilitates the movement of high-value perishable Australian products including chilled beef and lamb to international customers.
The extension of IFAM will ensure the aviation sector is supported until the COVID vaccine rollout is well underway, retaining Australiaâ€™s reputation as a reliable global trading partner, the Federal Government said. They estimate that 35,000 jobsÂ and 120,000 indirect jobsÂ relied on the air freight industry and more than 13,000 flights had benefited from the subsidy.
Fridayâ€™s announcement was welcomed by theÂ Export Council of AustraliaÂ and the Australian Meat Industry Council.
IFAMâ€™s continuance acknowledges the importance of reconnecting crucial global supply chains. It is essential in delivering highly valuable and time-sensitive perishable cargo to a range of international markets.
As a licensed Customs Broker and International Freight Forwarder, Colless Young handles your export air cargo needs economically and professionally. Based in Brisbane, we provide a complete range of logistics services, both import and export – by air and sea – at all major Australian ports and airports.