THE disrupted terrorist plot in Sydney in July 2017 demonstrated a level of terrorist intent and sophistication not previously seen in Australia. It is essential that Australia’s aviation industry employ effective security measures to address the threat environment and protect our trade and travel.
The Australian government’s first priority is, and will always be, to keep Australians safe and secure. As part of responding to this shift in threat and risk to Australian aviation, the Australian government has decided that export air cargo must be examined at piece-level, regardless of destination, from 1 March 2019.
Piece-level examination is currently being used for export cargo heading to the US, but not for other destinations. These examinations are handled by a Known Consignor or Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA) operating under an Enhanced Air Cargo Examination (EACE) Notice and are the most effective way to address current and emerging threats to air cargo.
What does this mean for your business?
If you are an Accredited Air Cargo Agent (AACA), a key business decision needs to be made to either remain operating as an AACA or to seek approval to become a RACA and start examining and clearing air cargo at piece-level.
If you want to remain an AACA you do not need to do anything right now. You will, however, need to discuss your future business arrangements with the RACAs and Known Consignors you work with to understand what the changes will mean for the way you receive, store and deliver cargo.
If you wish to become a RACA you will need to apply and demonstrate through your application that your business has the examination capability, security measures and procedures for handling air cargo. Your business must be ready to go, with approved equipment and trained staff, as a RACA by 1 March 2019 to operate in this new framework. Information on how to apply to become a RACA is available at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about/transport-security/air-cargo-security/raca-scheme.
If you have not already lodged your expression of interest and application to become a RACA, please do so as soon as possible. There are significant lead times for preparing and assessing applications, and equipment may need to be ordered and put into operation and staff trained to meet the 1 March 2019 deadline. RACAs need to have an EACE Notice in place prior to 1 March 2019. All export air cargo must be examined under an EACE Notice, regardless of destination, unless that cargo originates from an approved Known Consignor.
Known Consignors have been advised that they need to secure all export air cargo they originate, regardless of the destination, by 1 March 2019.
Current Known Consignor Security Programs will apply to all air cargo. If a Known Consignor is providing clearance for their export air cargo, security declarations will need to be issued for all international air cargo.
For exporting manufacturers or producers, becoming a Known Consignor can assist in streamlining delivery of international cargo. Again, the timeframe to become a Known Consignor can be significant. More information is available at the www.homeaffairs.gov.au website.
The Department of Home Affairs is working with industry to implement these measures to secure our air cargo supply chains. Leading up to the 1 March 2019 deadline, more information about changes to air cargo security will be made available on Department’s website.
* Sachi Wimmer is executive director transport security at the Department of Home Affairs
This article appeared in the September edition of DCN Magazine