A recent US Transport Security Administration (TSA) revaluation of the air cargo security arrangements Australia has in place for exports to the USA has found that they do not meet US requirements. The TSA has advised that Australia will need to screen 100% of export cargo carried on passenger aircraft to the US at piece level, in order to meet US requirements.
At this stage there is only a very limited capacity in Australia to screen and inspect every piece of every shipment that is tendered to the airlines for uplift to the USA, prior to being loaded on board an aircraft.
Australian Government’s Office of Transport Security (OTS) is working to quickly implement a two part strategy in cooperation with industry to meet these requirements, including:
1) Allowing approved industry participants to examine air cargo off airport and
2) Establishing a Known Consignor scheme.
The implementation deadline to comply with the USA regulations is 31st July 2015 – we do not expect that full industry wide arrangements to comply with the US regulations will be in place by that date.
We await advice from the Government OTS on its expectations of the Australian aircargo industry to address the issue of the available resources for screening of aircargo to USA.
As a consequence of the rushed application of these regulations, we foresee significant issues including:
- Delays and costs in the immediate & longer term
- Airline & Air Freight terminals will be required to invest in new screening equipment and resourcing
- Significant cargo congestion will be experienced at most Australian airports, with corresponding delays in uplift of cargo
- At peak times there will be Airline cargo terminal space issues
- Earlier receival cut-off times will be implemented for freight acceptance at airline and Air Freight terminals
- We expect that a new level of fees will be introduced to cover the costs associated with the application of these USA regulations
- Confusion & chaos….
The application of any interim and long term solution will have an impact on exporters moving their product to the USA via Air Freight.
Magellan’s priority at this stage is to find the best “work around” solution to minimise the impact on our customer’s aircargo moving to the USA.