TIACA urges caution on air cargo screening

Significant further testing must be conducted into the provision of advance data for air cargo and mail parcels security screening and common global standards and procedures must be developed to avoid potentially serious disruption to the flow of world trade, said the secretary general of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA).


TIACA urges caution on air cargo screening


Significant further testing must be conducted into the provision of advance data for air cargo and mail parcels security screening and common global standards and procedures must be developed to avoid potentially serious disruption to the flow of world trade, said the secretary general of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA).

In his address to the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) Annual Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security Conference in Brussels recently, TIACA secretary general Doug Brittin cautioned customs regulators against taking unilateral action to require submission of certain customs information for all air cargo shipments, in advance of aircraft departure. He urged delegates: “We recommend that all regulatory parties coordinate this process through the WCO and that they consult more closely with industry before they move forward on establishing regulations”.

While country specific advance data programmes have been tested by customs regulators – including the Advance Air Cargo Screening (ACAS) pilot in the US, Pre-loading Consignment Information for Secure Entry (PRECISE) pilot in Europe and the Pre Load Air Cargo Targeting (PACT) pilot in Canada – and some results shared through the WCO and other venues, gaps in global standards remain.

Brittin said the air cargo industry fully supports the concept of advance data risk analysis, stating that many positive lessons had been learned, however, he highlighted a series of challenges that must still be overcome. These, he said, included the lack of compatibility between many carrier and forwarder IT systems, inaccurate or incomplete information, wide variations in the timing of data availability, and limited testing of forwarder capabilities, especially outside of the US.