Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS) aims to simplify book-keeping between cargo agents and carriers, creating cost efficiencies and other useful services. Find out how you can become CASS-registered with our handy guide
Why join CASS?
IATA’s Cargo Account Settlement Systems (CASS) is designed to simplify the billing and accounts systems between airlines and freight forwarders, using CASSlink, IATA’s e-billing solution.
CASS-Export and CASS-Import and Terminal Charges are independent systems in which IATA and non-IATA air carriers, and General Sales and Service Agents and Ground Handling Agents can participate. The built-in flexibility of both systems means they can be adapted and improved to suit local market conditions and evolving technology.
No fuss invoicing
The system removes the need for paper and manual invoice handling, allowing for more streamlined processes, an electronic and improved control and cash flow.
Standardisation, simplification and automation
CASS produces industry-standard invoices, simplifying remittances so agents pay one amount covering payment to all carriers, with more than 250 IATA-registered members. All transactions are consolidated into one single database with automated procedures and forms.
Data entry is never duplicated, error-handling is streamlined and remittance irregularities managed using standard rules.
All processes are supervised by an IATA-employed ISS manager, with stock management handled by CASSLink.
Enhanced visibility across billing calendars, correction cut-off and remittance days in advance to help planning.
Eliminates the need for legacy cheques as settlement between agents, CASS and airlines is operated through electronic funds transfer. The operating standard for credits due to agents is also through electronic funds transfer. Transactions are processed daily within 24 hours of data submission.
An electronic and centralised data system with a global access points for data submissions offers agents the flexibility to manage data centrally with CASSLink’s web-based application.
Traditional invoicing involves each airline preparing an invoice for each agent individually. As a result agents receive multiple invoices and reporting that must be checked and consolidated, with individual payments made, which can be an administrative burden.
How does CASS-Export work?
- Carriers capture air waybill data on their systems and upload to the CASS, as well as submitting a copy or an electronic record of each Air Waybill issued during a reporting period to the CASS Office for processing.
- CASS then produces standard invoices. Each agent receives an invoice for each carrier that it works with, and a statement indicating the total amount due to all carriers. Agents can ask that invoices are produced and sent to each of their accounting offices separately.
- Agents can query an unclear entry, as the invoices must be produced two weeks in advance of the remittance date. On that date, the agent remits the total amount to the CASS account, from which one payment is made to each carrier.
How CASS-Import works
- The principles of CASS-ITC are similar to those of CASS-Export – intermediaries contracted by consignees handle most import air cargo. Under CASS-ITC an intermediary that meets the specified criteria can engage carriers to become a Recipient.
- Recipients benefit from standard credit facilities in accordance with the CASS-ITC procedures.
- When cargo arrives, the Delivering Company notifies the consignee, or importer. In most cases the importer will ask a Recipient to arrange delivery to their address. The Recipient accepts the cargo and responsibility for any import charges.
- An Import Billing Instruction is sent to the CASS office for processing. Similar to CASS-Export, the CASS office prepares invoices for the Recipient for each CASS Delivering Company.
- Each Delivering Company receives reciprocal accounting information. The Recipient remits the total amount to the CASS office’s account from which monies owed to CASS Delivering Companies are settled.
Becoming a CASS participant
If you are based in a non-CASS country
Any market can host a CASS operation as long as there is enough volume, e.g. more than one airline/freight forwarder. IATA conducts assessments to identify potential participants, operational practices and costs, with implementation and cost being borne by a given market’s group of airlines.
If you are based in a CASS country
IATA-accredited agents join the CASS at no cost whereas non-IATA agents must pay a local fee. All airlines are eligible to participate.
You can register as an IATA cargo agent or intermediary by applying through a questionnaire devised by the Cargo Agency. More information can be found in the IATA Cargo Agent’s Handbook or by visiting http://www.iata.org/customer-portal
To qualify, agents must be:
- qualified and duly-trained staff, particularly with regard to the acceptance/handling of Dangerous Goods;
- of sound financial standing;
- able to work in premises and cargo handling facilities; and active in the promotion and sale of international air cargo transportation.
To find out more about becoming a CASS agent, viist the Cargo Accreditation page on www.iata.org.
Cargo agents that want to join the CASS must handle a volume of air cargo sales that financially justify the use of electronic data processing, and must want to pool resources with other members with a view to standardising reporting and accounting processes.
For IATA Cargo Agents
IATA cargo agents are also obligated to take part in local or regional CASS-Export. The ISS Management informs them of how such participation affects their work methods.
They are responsible for:
• The correct issue and use of AWBs and administrative forms
• The submission of completed AWBs to the CASS Airline concerned when delivering consignments ready for carriage
• The safe keeping of AWBs and administrative forms
• The receipt of the CASS office’s billings
• Timely and full remittance of all amounts in the currency of the CASS office’s billings
For General Non-Airline Sales and Service Agents (GSSAs)
General Sales and Service Agents that adhere to IATA regulations can participate in CASS if they:
a) provide written evidence of authorisation from its principal airlines
b) execute a Form of Application and Concurrence with IATA
c) sign a Counter Indemnity Agreement
d) pay the fee set by ISS Management