The Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) has endorsed use of a standard Consignment Security Declaration for air cargo shipments to standardize and harmonize the reporting of physical security requirements. GACAG is recommending that international organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), World Customs Organization (WCO) as well as national regulators adopt the declaration for inclusion in their guidance materials.
In a statement, GACAG says it believes that, wherever possible, authorities should allow a standard Consignment Security Declaration to be submitted in electronic format, which would further improve efficiency, reduce paper, enhance communication and speed transmission. The advisory group said it noted and supports the work of a joint industry/government working group that developed the electronic standard Consignment Security Declaration and its associated layout, which has been adopted as IATA Recommended Practice 1630.
Michael Steen, Chairman of GACAG, said: “We urge regulators to endorse a standard Consignment Security Declaration to harmonize security reporting requirements, thereby reducing the risk of non-compliance while improving security and efficiency. This would also minimize complexity for all supply chain partners, including shippers and freight forwarders as well as for the regulators themselves.”
GACAG – consisting of the Global Shippers’ Forum, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) - recommends that the standardized information included on the Consignment Security Declaration be limited to the following critical elements:
1. Identification of who has secured the cargo, declared it secure, and ensured its integrity has been maintained for loading onto the aircraft (e.g., unique identification of the party accountable for accepting and securing the cargo);
2. Information on the content of the consignment such as the unique consignment identification and the cargo description or an indication of consolidation if any;
3. Information on the cargo’s security status (e.g., can it be loaded on (i) passenger aircraft or (ii) all-cargo aircraft only, or is it (iii) high risk cargo) and the reasons why the security status was issued. It may also include the means of screening deployed to secure that cargo;
4. Name of the authorized person who issued the security status, or an equivalent identification including the date and time of the security status issuance; and
5. Country specific textual requirements ensuring that operators are complying with rules issued in certain circumstances (e.g. (i) this consignment does not contain any shipments originating from or has passed through the country x or y, (ii) this account has been known to the agent for the past 6 months).
GACAG also recommends that regulators accept an electronic audit trail for Consignment Security Declarations and is encouraging the air cargo industry and regulators to recognize and use the IATA standardized codes for the security status of the consignment; the method of screening used; and any screening exemptions.