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Ad hoc approach is driving up security costs, warns airfreight group

[ July 6, 2012   //   ]

Ad hoc directives and impractical rules on advance electronic information could hit air cargo security and drive up costs, warns the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG). It is calling for regulators to work more closely with the air cargo industry to develop rules and regulations and for broad industry participation in the ongoing Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot under way in the US. All parties should consider the results of that pilot in developing global standards.

CAGAG chairman, Michael Steen, said: “We are a global industry and it is critical that we work with regulators to develop a global, harmonized approach in this area. We believe there will be great value from our industry members’ participation in the ACAS pilot in the U.S., and on drawing lessons from that pilot towards a globalized and harmonized outcome.”
In its new position paper on Air Cargo Advance Electronic Information for Security Purposes, GACAG “fully endorses and supports” efforts to improve security and supports the use of advance electronic information for risk assessment purposes in accordance with the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards, but warns against national authorities taking a non-uniform approach to electronic data requirements. This could add bureaucracy and costs and result in less predictability for the aviation sector. GACAG also believes that consultation and collaboration between regulators and industry are key to finding a workable approach.
Steen added: “There has been a recent significant increase in the number of countries seeking to implement advance electronic information but as some countries may not be following the advance electronic information standards published in the WCO SAFE Framework, it is creating confusion and additional costs…some countries have been releasing ad hoc directives – including consideration of advance electronic information prior to loading – without adequate time for discussion, resulting in regulations that the industry may be unable to fulfill.”
GACAG is calling on the authorities to recognize that different segments of the air cargo industry have very different business models such as integrators or consolidation through freight forwarders. Advance data requirements for security risk assessment purposes should allow for multiple originators of filings based on the availability of the information, while also limiting multiple submissions of the same information. GACAG also suggests that importers, exporters or their agents should provide authorities with goods declarations such as house waybill information for security risk assessment purposes as early as possible. It also believes authorities should provide electronic notification of a security concern, where possible.
GACAG’s full position paper and recommendations are at www.gacag.org

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