Air Cargo Security

To prevent unlawful interference with aviation, the Australian Government has in place measures that require air cargo to be security cleared before it can be loaded on an aircraft. These measures apply to businesses that security clear, handle or make arrangements for the transport of air cargo.

Supply chain security for air cargo is regulated under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 and is currently administered through the Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA) and Accredited Air Cargo Agent (AACA) schemes.

Current Regulated and Accredited Air Cargo Agent Schemes

The RACA Scheme applies to businesses that make arrangements with airlines for the carriage of air cargo or operate a site for the purpose of storage, handling, examination, or processing of air cargo.

The AACA Scheme complements the existing RACA Scheme. The AACA Scheme covers businesses that provide road transport of cargo destined for carriage by air, such as courier companies.

Strengthening US-Bound Air Cargo Security

The United States (US) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently re-evaluated Australia's air cargo security arrangements for exports to the US. The TSA has determined that Australia's current arrangements do not meet US Government security requirements. To meet US requirements, Australia will be obliged to examine 100 per cent of our export cargo at piece-level, if it is carried on a passenger aircraft to the US.

The Australian and US Governments have now agreed a strategy for the transition to the new security arrangements. Under this agreement, Australian industry will have until 31 July 2017 to reconfigure their operations to ensure they are meeting the US requirement of 100 per cent piece-level examination

Further information on changes to US-Bound air cargo security arrangements please visit Strengthening US-Bound Air Cargo Security.

Need more information?

Contact the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development


Last Updated: 24 July, 2015