The European Shippers Council has expressed concern about the far-reaching implications of the European Commission’s regulation surrounding cargo screening, which goes into effect on April 29, 2013.
On this date, an EC-approved inspector must validate the security regimens of known shippers to comply with regulation 185/2010. If such action isn’t taken, an approved agent or carrier must scan the cargo.
To ESC Chairman Denis Choumert, this standard sets up European shippers for a host of problems. “Under current rules, shippers are almost automatically made known consignors after a check by their freight forwarder and some administrative formalities, instead of by an independent validator under the new rules,” he said in a statement.
“Governmental institutes, freight forwarders, ground handlers and shippers are ill-prepared for the obligations and requirements this legislation entails,” Choumert continued.
Still, the legislation hasn’t caught the ESC off guard. According to a press release issued by the association, the EC has given member states a three-year window to implement regulation 185/2010, of which the ESC is in its 19th month. After April 29, 2013, however, all airfreight must come from a known consignor or undergo screening.
Choumert stated that the industry needs more time to prepare for such changes. In fact, he maintained, without “urgent action,” the EC could find itself in a potentially chaotic situation.
“The European Commission should advise, help or force member states to set up their validation programs,” Choumert said in a statement. “Alternatively, the commission should look at other options, such as extending the grace period given to member states to comply.”