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Trade Minister response to IFAM extension calls

On 19 March 2022 we have written to various ministry offices seeking a budget allocation to extend the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) beyond its scheduled mid-year conclusion. This correspondence focuses on the Minister's previous response to our recommendation for contingency planning and budget allocation.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation, including whether there is any need to further extend IFAM beyond its current end date and assess whether there is a requirement for evidence to mount advocacy for an extension.

Along with the ongoing and the rapid global spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, war in Eastern Europe and soaring fuel prices that have again generated significant uncertainty for the airfreight market, we have recognized the announcement from the New Zealand Federal Government to continue funding of the Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme until March 2023.

The Trade Minister has responded with the intent to cease the IFAM program on 30 June 2022 with an operational tail until 31 July 2022. Which position themselves in line with the government's position to wind up other temporary COVID-19 measures leaving businesses to manage disruptions with a view to longer-term sustainability in a post-pandemic economy. This response downplayed the potential competitive advantage that New Zealand exporters will receive with extended access to MIAC and has kept the window open by stating that an extension to IFAM remains possible should circumstances change.

We welcome any feedback to support advocacy for an extension of financial support for the sector and will continue its close liaison with the relevant government and shadow ministries in the lead-up to the federal election.

You may contact Image International Freight representatives on if you have any concerns or need further details.


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