US-bound air cargo security arrangements

From 1 July 2017, United States (US) legislation requires all air cargo being transported to the US to either be examined at piece-level or originate from a Known Consignor.

Complying with this obligation will require Australian-based exporters, freight forwarders and airlines to adopt new security measures for the preparation of US-bound air cargo. To help industry meet this obligation, the Australian Government has introduced new security arrangements that allow:

The Department encourages businesses to discuss their future arrangements for US-bound air cargo with their customers and supply chain logistics service providers.

Implementing piece-level examination

In August 2015, the Australian Government secured US Government agreement to phase-in piece-level examination of 100 per cent of US-bound air cargo over a two-year period to July 2017.

As airlines are ultimately responsible for accepting air cargo for uplift, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requested each airline to submit a proposal outlining an implementation plan to meet the piece-level examination requirement.

Airlines submitted plans to the TSA in September 2015, which commit them to demonstrate progress toward piece-level examination of 100 per cent of US-bound air cargo. The plans encourage industry to implement changes gradually, up until the 1 July 2017 deadline. Airlines are required to report regularly to the TSA against incremental piece-level examination percentage targets over this time.

Off-airport examination—Enhanced Air Cargo Examination (EACE)

The EACE notice permits businesses to examine and clear international air cargo at piece-level. Piece-level means that each individual box, carton or other item in a shipment is examined by technology before it is loaded onto an aircraft.

Air cargo cleared by an EACE examiner does not require further examination before it is loaded onto an aircraft.
Piece-level screening commenced at a number of off-airport examination facilities under the EACE notice from July 2015.

EACE notices are available to businesses operating in Australia. Businesses that are interested in, or are currently capable of, piece-level examination should contact the Department at for further information.

Want more information about EACE?

Known Consignor

Known Consignors are a new category of industry participant, directly regulated by the Department. Known Consignors secure their air cargo at its source by implementing approved security measures at their sites. This means that air cargo originating from Known Consignors does not require further examination before being loaded onto an aircraft. Becoming a Known Consignor is one way for exporters to comply with the new requirements for US-bound air cargo.

Want more information about the Known Consignor Scheme?

Want to apply to join the Known Consignor Scheme?

Consultation and Engagement

The Department is committed to assisting industry to implement the new arrangements, and has undertaken extensive consultation in developing the new regulatory requirements for US-bound air cargo.

In collaborating closely with other government agencies to explore options to harmonise air cargo exports, the Department is seeking to reduce industry's regulatory burden and provide for tailored and proportionate regulatory requirements in the future.

The Department will continue to work closely with the TSA and other international trading partners to ensure that the new arrangements meet the TSA's requirements and international standards while remaining appropriate for the Australian context.

If you would like further information on the new requirements for US-bound air cargo, Enhanced Air Cargo Examination or the Known Consignor Scheme, please contact

Alternatively, you can subscribe to receive air cargo security updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information on US Bound Air Cargo Security requirements please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions as we have more information. If your question is not answered here, you can contact for more information.