THE Hongkong Association of Freight Forwarding Agents (HAFFA), which has been urged to cut back on increased charges introduced on January 1, has defended them as being necessary. HAFFA chairman Walther Nahr, who said the Hongkong Shippers Council had met the association about the requested reduction, said the attendance fee, which was raised to 25 per cent, was not a daily expense because it was only charged in one out of 100 dealings. ''Another increase involved charges of the Hongkong Container Trucking Association, and we merely published their increased tariffs,'' he said at the IATA/FIATA Air Cargo training diploma presentation ceremony yesterday. Mr Peter Tang, who is HAFFA training sub-committee chairman and general manager of McGregor Sea and Air Services, presented diplomas to 28 successful candidates. Mr Nahr, who is also Asia-Pacific director of Hill and Delamain (Hongkong), said he did not think the increases, which range between 3.8 per cent and 56.2 per cent, were as drastic as reported because costs in Hongkong had risen greatly, especially thoserelated to personnel. The Hongkong Shippers Council wants HAFFA to reduce the charges to the inflation level, about 10 per cent. Freight forwarders had to invest in EDI (electronic data interchange) if they were to remain competitive, Mr Nahr said, adding that most were already using computers, ranging from PCs to large mainframes.