Security regulation affects the world, remains relatively unknown
“That’s one of the biggest risks at the moment – that non-European carriers or non-European entities would struggle understanding the full impact and requirements of that regulation, and they might hence fail to comply with all the validation requirements by July 1,” Cooreman says.
In fact, the deadline is more like May 1 since the validator has 30 days to write a report after onsite verification, says Jean Dunaux, Air France-KLM-Martinair cargo industrial affairs and security specialist.
IATA has mounted a mass marketing campaign to inform the industry of ACC3, including offering free one-day information sessions around the world, though Cooreman says this probably still hasn’t reached every concerned airline.
“This happens all the time,” Zielinski of Lufthansa says. “At least you find just a few that realize a few days before, ‘Oh, there’s a new rule. How to handle that?’”
Enno Osinga, senior vice president cargo at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, says he isn’t worried about carriers missing the July 1 deadline.
“The airline industry has been facing and dealing with steadily-increasing security measures for many years now, and has so far proven itself very able to meet all new requirements, and ensure the necessary processes are in place by the relevant deadlines,” Osinga says. “We expect the same for ACC3, as the alternative is that non-compliant carriers will be barred from bringing cargo into EU airports from non-EU origin points.”
Moehle of Schenker doesn’t believe the deadline will be postponed. Woodall says as IATA continues it marketing campaigns and training sessions, more and more companies employ independent validators.
But Cooreman says awareness of the regulation remains relatively low.
“It might lead to certain delays in complying with the regulation because the word obviously still has to be spread,” he says. “A validation takes quite a bit of time and effort to prepare for, so if you combine those two elements, then I can imagine that a number of airlines – non-European carriers – may be facing a bit of an issue later on this year, as well as some of the airports that fly into Europe, where suddenly now they have to do things potentially differently than they were doing them yesterday.”
Right now, companies’ facilities are in the process of being validated for ACC3.
Cooreman says the effects of the regulation remain unknown.
“There will be an impact, but the scale of the impact is a bit hard to predict,” he says. “Basically, what a lot of airlines as well as other parties in the air cargo industry will have to do is first of all get more screening equipment. Secondly, improve the physical security of their stations in certain countries. So there will be definitely an initial cost increase to the industry as a whole.”
Zielinski applauds the EU for issuing a rule that everyone must follow, saying some countries’ security needs a helping hand.
Moehle says different countries have disparate levels of security.
“Some countries are up to scratch already in such that they are fulfilling the EU regulations already today and without validation ordered,” he says. “There are others who start on a clean slate and of course have to do more work.”
In the end, the ACC3 regulation will bolster air cargo security, McCaffrey of IAG Cargo says.
“In the long term, the security validations will help strengthen supply chain security as they help ensure that airlines and other entities responsible for supply chain security meet EU standards,” he says.
Cooreman points out that it would be better if industry had to comply with a single program instead of ones from multiple regimes, but ACC3 will result in improved protection and more screening.
“The consequence there is two-fold,” he says. “One, for Europe as a destination region, so all the cargo flying into Europe will be securely controlled at least, so the member states in Europe can be a bit more confident now that what they are getting in is secure to a very high degree. But also given the fact that a lot of cargo transits in Europe to the U.S., the U.S. also benefits here from this European piece of regulation.”
Ultimately, this regulation will help safeguard cargo and the passengers and employees around it, Moehle says.