Further to our legislation updates section, the Department of Infrastructure and Transport has released a discussion paper aimed at obtaining feedback from industry on how best to secure Australia’s air cargo supply chain against the threat of terrorism and other acts of unlawful interference. The proposed changes are also required to meet Australia’s international obligations and ensure our international trading partners will continue to accept our exports.

The new security framework is scheduled to be implemented from July 2014. Implementing the requirements for domestic air cargo security is also being investigated.

The Department sought the views of freight forwarders, transport and logistics providers, exporters, manufacturers, general traders and providers of related products and services.

Key changes proposed include the introduction of a Regulated Shipping Scheme (RSS) and Enhanced Air Cargo Examinations (EACE) and changes to the rules governing Regulated Accredited Air Cargo Agents.

Those exporting goods by air will have to choose between having the cargo examined or joining the Regulated Shipping Scheme. The RSS and EACE aim to prevent an unauthorised explosive device being inserted into export cargo and subsequently damaging or destroying aircraft. All cargo will have to be cleared by originating either from a Regulated Shipper or by undergoing examination using approved technology and procedures. From that point on the cargo’s cleared status will have to be maintained in order for it to be uplifted onto an aircraft.

The introduction of the RSS and EACE will necessitate changes to the existing framework. It is proposed that the majority of businesses currently regulated under the Regulated Air Cargo Agent Scheme will transfer to an expanded and refined Accredited Air Cargo Agent Scheme