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GACAG endorses ‘harmonized’ approach to cargo risk-assessment

By Hpanchal on July 6, 2012

In a new position paper, the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group warned against the issuance of ad-hoc directives about the utilization of advance electronic data for airfreight security. Instead, the coalition encouraged governments around the world to take cues from the industry and look to the Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot program currently underway in the U.S. for guidance.

“We are a global industry and it is critical that we work with regulators to develop a global, harmonized approach in this area,” GACAG Chairman Michael Steen said in a statement. “We believe there will be great value from our industry members’ participation in the ACAS pilot in the U.S., and on drawing lessons from that pilot toward a globalized and harmonized outcome.”

Still, GACAG touted the use of advance electronic data for assessing risk in the airfreight supply chain, highlighting the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards as a good model to follow. But the coalition warned that “non-uniform approaches” to the utilization of advance electronic information could lead to bureaucracy, higher costs and confusion throughout the airline sector.

Steen said it’s an unfortunate trend that has been occurring in the airfreight industry. He pointed to the increase in the number of nations seeking to implement advance electronic data for cargo security without consulting WCO standards.

“In their respective efforts to further secure the air cargo supply chain, some countries have been releasing ad-hoc directives — including consideration of advance electronic information prior to loading — without adequate time for discussion, resulting in regulations that the industry may be unable to fulfill,” Steen said in a statement.

To remedy such issues, GACAG encouraged authorities to recognize that the airfreight sector is multifaceted — encompassing integrators, freight forwarders, etc. — and contains different business models. “Therefore, advance data requirements for security risk-assessment purposes should allow for multiple originators of filings based on the availability of the information, while also limiting multiple submissions of the same information,” GACAG said in the position paper.

GACAG also recommended that shippers provide authorities with goods declarations and encouraged governments around the world to supply electronic notifications of security concerns, whenever possible.

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