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 security measures for Australia’s aviation industry continue to address the threat environment, and secure our trade and travel.
In May 2018, the Australian Government announced a range of measures to further strengthen aviation security in Australia. In addition to the announced measures, the Government has agreed that all international export air cargo must be examined at piece-level by 1 March 2019.
Piece-level refers to examination of export air cargo at the lowest level of consolidation (that is, each individual box, carton or other similar item) by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA) under an Enhanced Air Cargo (EACE) Notice. Examination must occur at piece-level before cargo can be uplifted onto an aircraft.
Cargo that originates from a Known Consignor, and is securely transported to airport by the Known Consignor or an AACA (such as MNX/LFS), is considered to be piece-level examined and will not need to be examined again prior to being uplifted for export.
Cargo is often consolidated on pallets (for example, boxes stacked and wrapped in plastic) or in unit load devices. Examination at the consolidated level will not be acceptable for export air cargo after 1 March 2019. Uncleared cargo will need to be piece-level examined prior to consolidation.
Piece-level examination is the current standard for export cargo bound for the United States, and is considered the most effective way to address current and emerging threats to air cargo.
Australia’s Cargo Terminal Operators (CTOs) have finite space and resources to handle the expected huge increase in X-ray screening, and might have trouble coping with the demands of the expanded requirements. It is anticipated that CTO’s will implement extended cut-off times for lodgement of export cargo, and also implement piece level screening fees.
We would encourage you to consider participation in the Known Consignor Scheme. This will mean your export air shipments will be considered piece-level examined and can be loaded onto the aircraft without additional screening. More information and expressions of interest in the Known Consignor Scheme can be located at:
Whilst these additional measures only apply to international export air cargo, we understand that the Government are also undertaking to implement similar security programmes for the domestic air freight industry. There is currently no timeline on domestic implementation, but there is a caveat in the event of a security incident that similar requirements will be enforced swiftly.
Should you have any additional enquiries, please do not hesitate to reach out to your customer service representative.