Air Cargo Security

  • Air Cargo Security

    air cargo security

    Air Cargo Security:100 % examination of all export air cargo

    On 8 May 2018, the Australian Government announced a range of measures to further strengthen Australia’s domestic and international Air cargo security.

    From 1 March 2019, before air cargo is uplifted onto an outbound international aircraft, it must be examined at piece-level by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent under an Enhanced Air Cargo Examination Notice, or by a Known Consignor through their approved, secure origination procedure

    This means that each individual box, carton or other item in a shipment must be examined by technology or physically inspected before it is loaded onto an aircraft.

    However, there is an alternative approach available for exporters 

    Rather than examining your cargo at piece-level. The Department of Transport  will authorize businesses to secure export air cargo at the source. The scheme will be regulated by the Transport Department and is called “The known consignor”.

    The known consignor scheme, will offer export businesses an alternative way to secure their export air cargo through approved security measures. As air cargo originating from known consignors, will not require further examination, provided it remains secure until it is loaded onto an aircraft.

    Requirements for known consignors

    The Known consignor scheme requirements are based on international best practice. Known consignors must demonstrate that they have security measures and procedures in place and can secure their export air cargo from where it originates, until it is handed to another regulated business.The security measures required under the Known consignor scheme will depend on each individual business. This reflects the fact that exporters operate in a wide variety of environments.

    Security measures include:

    • physical access controls and facility security measures
    • information security measures
    • secure packing, handling and storage of air cargo
    • secure transportation of air cargo
    • security awareness training
    • background checking of employees to ensure they are of suitable character, including a requirement for staff in key roles to hold an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC)
    • quality control procedures in place to monitor and manage compliance, and
    • incident response and reporting procedures.
    Applying to join the Known consignor scheme

    Entry into the Known consignor scheme is by application, validation (an on-site inspection), and approval by the Department of Home Affairs (the Department).

    To begin an application, submit an expression of interest.

    Businesses need to fully complete the application form and provide any supporting documentation to demonstrate that they can meet the security requirements.If the completed application form meets requirements, an on-site validation will be conducted by the Department to ensure that the applicant has appropriate security measures in place, and can comply with their obligations.

    Alternatives to the Known consignor scheme

    If you export cargo by air you should discuss with your freight forwarder whether they are approved, or will seek approval, to examine air cargo at piece-level. You should also discuss whether or not the goods you export are capable of piece-level examination by the methods used by your freight forwarder.

    If your freight forwarder is unable to offer piece-level examination, and you do not wish to join the Known consignor scheme, your cargo will need to be deconsolidated and screened at the airport before being accepted for uplift to the US. The capacity of cargo terminal operators to undertake this screening is not yet known and delays can be expected.

    Cargo that originates from known consignors does not require further examination before uplift to the aircraft

    Need more information?

    Visit the Known consignor frequently asked questions page.


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