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.
On 1 March 2019 the piece-level examination requirement was extended to all outbound international air cargo, and this is considered the most effective way to address the current and emerging threats to air cargo. In addition to these international measures, the Government has decided to implement a phased process to expand the regulatory requirements for piece-level examination to include domestic air cargo.
The expansion of piece-level examination requirements to domestic air cargo will be implemented as follows:
- Phase One: by 30 June 2020, domestic air cargo will need to be examined at piece-level, or originate from a Known Consignor, if loaded at the following five airports: Adelaide (ADL), Brisbane (BNE), Melbourne (MEL), Perth (PER), Sydney (SYD); and
- Phase Two: by 30 June 2021, piece-level examination requirements will apply to domestic air cargo loaded at all airports, unless originating from a Known Consignor.
What does this mean for you?
Piece-level refers to examination of 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. Examination methods are separated into primary examination and secondary examination. Approved primary examination methods include:
- Electronic Metal Detection (EMD), and
- Explosive Trace Detection (ETD).
If an examination officer conducts primary examination, and is satisfied a piece of cargo does not contain unauthorised explosives, it may be cleared for uplift on an aircraft. Secondary examination is used to resolve unsatisfactory primary examination outcomes, or in the limited circumstances where primary examination is not applicable. Approved secondary examination methods include:
Cargo that originates from a Known Consignor, and is securely transported to the airport by the Known Consignor or an AAvCA (such as MNX/LFS), is considered to be piece-level examined and will not need to be examined again prior to being uplifted.
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 air cargo after 30 June 2020. Uncleared cargo will need to be piece-level examined prior to consolidation.
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 air cargo, and also implement piece level screening fees.
We would strongly encourage you to consider participation in the Known Consignor Scheme. This will mean your 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:
Should you have any additional enquiries, please do not hesitate to reach out to your sales or customer service representative.