Air Cargo Security Newsletter—September 2015—Issue 10

A note from the Office of Transport Security

The Department aims to ensure that Australian businesses are in the best position to meet the expectations of our trade partners and take advantage of Australia’s free trade agreements. At the same time, we need to ensure our exports meet the security requirements of importing countries to ensure trade is not disrupted.

To this end we have been working closely with the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on the continued recognition of Australia’s National Cargo Security Program (NCSP).

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is reviewing a number of its air cargo security arrangements to reduce the administrative costs of complying with duplicated or unnecessary regulatory arrangements, without compromising on the safety and security of our cargo, and the people who come into contact with it along the supply chain.

This edition of Air Cargo Security News takes a special look at how the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is balancing the needs of our industry, with the expectations of our bilateral partners, and international expectations for air cargo security.

In this issue of Air cargo Security News you will find important updates on:

US-Bound Air Cargo—Next Steps

The United States is one of our most important trade partners. Since the US-Australia Free-Trade Agreement was secured in 2005, trade between the two countries has increased by approximately 40 per cent, making the US Australia’s third largest trading partner.

Ensuring that Australian exports can move smoothly, safely, and securely through the supply chain to the US market is a priority for the Australian Government.

In December 2014, the TSA advised that consolidated screening arrangements under Australia’s NCSP would no longer meet the US requirements for 100 per cent piece-level screening, and Australian air cargo would need to be screened at a deconsolidated level, in the future.

The Australian and US Governments have now agreed to a strategy to phase-in arrangements to screen all US-bound air cargo at piece-level. The strategy will allow the TSA to continue recognition of Australia’s NCSP until mid-2017.

Under the agreement, airlines will submit a proposal to amend their TSA Standard Security Program (SSP) by mid-September 2015. The proposed amendments are to include aggressive timelines to meet the US requirements.

In the meantime, the Australian Government will introduce new security measures to ensure that US-bound air cargo can be secured at piece-level along the supply chain. The framework for these security measures represents a tailored and proportionate approach to the US requirements.

These arrangements will be phased in over the next two years to ensure our exports to the US can continue without disruption.

Under the new security regime, air cargo can be examined by:

  • Cargo Terminal Operators and freight forwarders with approved screening arrangements for US-bound air cargo; or
  • An exporter registered as a Known Consignor that can secure cargo at its source before shipping to the US.

The legislative arrangements for the Australian Government’s Known Consignor Scheme will be submitted to Australian Parliament by the end of 2015. The scheme is expected to be open to eligible exporters from mid-2016.

For more information on the security measures please visit the Strengthening US-Bound Air Cargo Security webpage.

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New General Manager, Scott Stone, Air Cargo Security Taskforce

Scott Stone joined the Air Cargo Security Taskforce as General Manager in July 2015. He will be working closely with our industry stakeholders to drive the implementation of US-bound air cargo security arrangements.

Scott has a strong background in aviation policy having held several aviation related policy positions in the Department for almost 20 years. Scott became General Manager for the Department’s Aviation Environment Branch in 2010 and in this role provided policy advice to the Government on environmental issues including aircraft noise and emissions, and administered relevant legislation. He led the development of the Department’s Aviation White Paper in 2009, which was a comprehensive review of Australia’s aviation policy settings. He also oversaw the establishment of the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Frameworks, a set of national guidelines for improved land–use planning around Australia’s airports.

Scott is looking forward to building strong relationships with industry partners and taking a practical and outcomes-focussed approach to strengthening Australia’s air cargo security arrangements.

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Industry consultations for US-bound air cargo security

The Department has consulted widely with industry on the development of the new policy settings to ensure that Australia’s National Cargo Security Program continues to be recognised by the US Government. A key part of this consultation involved workshops which were held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne during June and July 2015, with separate sessions being conducted for freight forwarders and exporters.

The workshops were a valuable opportunity to gain industry views on the proposed changes to US-bound air cargo screening, including: 100 per cent piece-level examination of cargo; off-airport screening of cargo by approved businesses; and the establishment of a Known Consignor scheme.

We would like to thank all those who attended these workshops, and appreciate the feedback we received from attendees. This feedback has been invaluable in helping us design Government policy in response to the need to strengthen US-bound air cargo security arrangements.

In addition to the workshops, the Department has formed an Inter Departmental Committee which has convened a number of times to explore how Government agencies can work together to ensure a harmonised approach in the development and implementation of the new arrangements for US bound air cargo.

The Cargo Working Group (CWG) also met on 22 May 2015 and again via teleconference on 17 July 2015 to discuss the proposed changes. The next meeting of the CWG is planned for October. More information on the next CWG meeting will be available soon.

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Enhanced Air Cargo Examination commences

The Department has commenced issuing enhanced air cargo examination (EACE) notices to a number of businesses that have appropriate technological examination capability and security standards in place to deliver piece-level examination. An EACE notice allows cargo terminal operators and freight forwarding businesses to have their examination processes recognised, so that cargo examined in accordance with the notice doesn’t require further screening before it is loaded on an aircraft.

This policy supports the Government’s deregulation agenda by reducing duplication and forms part of the Government’s strategy to meet US requirements for piece-level screening up to and beyond July 2017.

This issuing of the EACE notices is the result of the combined efforts of industry and Government having worked together for four years throughout policy consultation and operational pilots.

The Department has already issued EACE notices to a number of freight forwarding businesses who have established Accredited Examination Facilities (AEFs) across 12 different sites nationally.

In the near future, the Department will make contact with other freight forwarding RACAs identified as possessing  suitable economies of scale to support examination capability, to gauge their interest in examining cargo at piece-level and receiving an EACE notice.

For further information contact the EACE project team at eace@infrastructure.gov.au

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EACE on govdex

The Department has recently launched an Enhanced Air Cargo Examination (EACE) govdex web portal. The EACE govdex portal assists freight handling and forwarding businesses to understand the requirements of EACE. It provides a range of regulatory and guidance material as well as application forms for EACE notices.

If your businesses would like access to the EACE govdex portal, please contact the EACE project team at eace@infrastructure.gov.au.

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Known Consignor Scheme: securing US exports at source

It is important that air cargo continues to move through the supply chain to US markets so that Australian businesses can continue to trade with one of Australia’s most important bilateral trade partners. The Australian Government is introducing a Known Consignor scheme that will allow exporters to fast-track the movement of their cargo through the supply-chain, by securing cargo at their facilities. Providing the cargo remains secure along the supply chain, it can be transported to the airport and loaded directly onto an aircraft, without further examination at cargo terminals.

The legislative arrangements for the Australian Government’s Known Consignor Scheme will be submitted to the Australian Parliament by the end of 2015. The scheme is expected to be open to eligible exporters from mid-2016.

Known Consignor schemes are a popular model for securing cargo around the world.  Australia’s scheme will be modelled on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and will be designed to be recognised by other trade partners.

Australian Known Consignors will be directly regulated by the Department and will implement approved security measures at their facilities and secure their air cargo exports at their source.

Entry into the Known Consignor Scheme will be via application, validation, approval and accreditation by the Department. Once an applicant has been assessed as eligible, the exporter's security arrangements will be validated by the Department. This ensures that an exporter can comply with their security obligations before shipping to the US. Following the validation process, approved Known Consignors will be accredited and added to a register of Known Consignors and included in the Department's regular compliance program.

The Department is working closely with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to align the Known Consignor scheme with existing regulatory arrangements, to streamline information gathering and processes across Government schemes. In particular we are working closely to align the Known Consignor scheme with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Trusted Trader initiative which will reduce duplication across these closely related initiatives.

Australian Trusted Trader is a free and voluntary partnership between an accredited business and the Australian Government that aims to streamline and facilitate trade, and enhance supply chain security. Entities that can demonstrate requirements relating to supply chain security and a history of trade compliance will be formally recognised as low-risk, and accredited as Trusted Traders. Trusted Traders are also likely to receive expedited entry to the Known Consignor scheme. More information on the Trusted Trader initiative can be found at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

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Streamlining Transport Security Programs

The Department has been working with industry over the past 12 months to reduce the administrative costs associated with preparing and maintaining a Transport Security Program (TSP). These adjustments have been made, without reducing security outcomes or regulatory assurance.

The Aviation Transport Security Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2015 (the Regulations) was approved by the Governor-General on 23 July 2015.

The Regulation amends the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 to streamline transport security programs for airport operators, aircraft operators and Regulated Air Cargo Agents (RACAs). Information that requires frequent updating has been moved from the body of the TSP to supporting documentation, so that it can be updated without submitting a TSP for re-approval. The Regulations are available from the ComLaw website.

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Transitioning to new Transport Security Programs

The regulatory changes affecting TSPs took effect on 1 September 2015. They will not have any immediate impact on approved TSPs. However, they will impact any decision to approve a new, or revised, TSP.

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Templates and guidance for Transport Security Programs

Templates and guidance materials to assist RACAs in developing a TSP are available on request by emailing national.coordinator@infrastructure.gov.au, or by contacting the OTS regional representative in your State. These templates are provided to support the development of a TSP and are not compulsory to use. However, it is each RACA’s responsibility to ensure that their TSP accurately reflects how they manage aviation security across their operations, and demonstrate that they meet their obligations under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Regulations.

The Department appreciates the support and feedback that industry has provided over the past 12 months, and will continue to work closely with industry on aviation security regulation.

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New form for Regulated Air Cargo Agents

The Department has updated the RACA application form for Regulated Air Cargo Agents to align with recent amendments to the Aviation Transport Security Regulations.

The new application form is available online at the RACA application page.

Although the application process for RACAs remains largely unchanged, the Department encourages businesses to familiarise themselves with the requirements for supporting documentation.

If you have any questions about the RACA designation, TSP approval processes or would like to request updated TSP documentation, please contact your local representative from the Department or email the National Coordinator at national.coordinator@infrastructure.gov.au

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Next Cargo Working Group Meeting

The Department will hold the next Cargo Working Group (CWG) Meeting in Sydney on 8 October 2015. At this meeting CWG members will be updated on the next steps for implementing US-bound air cargo arrangements, EACE notices and the Known Consignor Scheme.

Airlines will also be invited to discuss the amendments that they recommended to the TSA Transport Security Programs and discuss what this may mean for freight forwarders and exporters.

The Department has been working closely with our colleagues from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to arrange for an opportunity for a joint session of the Cargo Working Group and the Trusted Trader Industry Advisory Group.  The Department is pleased to advise that following the Cargo Working Group meeting on 8 October 2015, Cargo Working Group members will be invited to participate in a working lunch with members of the Australian Trusted Trader Industry Advisory Group.  Further details will be provided directly to Cargo Working Group members.

If you would like more information about the future air cargo supply chain security framework or to provide us with feedback, please contact the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Phone 1800 007 024 (Free Call)
Email supplychaininformation@infrastructure.gov.au
Web infrastructure.gov.au/security/air-cargo

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