ACFI Security Conference highlights challenges and compliances
In view of increasing security issues across the world, and especially the EU decision on implementation of ACC3 (Air Cargo Carrier of 3rd Country), the Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) recently organised a national conference in New Delhi on compliances and
In his welcome address, Pradip Panicker maintained that the objective of ACFI is to make the air cargo industry internationally competitive by complying all existing rule & regulations and coping up with forthcoming challenges. “It should be underlined that in India about 85 per cent cargo is carried by passenger aircraft. Hence, safety and security of an aircraft would be the utmost task for the air cargo supply chain industry.” He however, emphasised on reducing of delay to clear a shipment without compromising security aspect.
There is additional screening at the last point of departure under the new EU ACC3, according to Latest EU Commission drafts policy: Export of own security regime to 3rd countries instead of bilateral or multilateral recognition
Delivering the theme speech, “Air Cargo Security— Future Outlook”; SIS
Ahmed, Director, GMR Group and former DG, CISF and CRPF, said that the air cargo supply chain security issue witnessed a paradigm shift after 9/11 and subsequent terrorist incidents across the world. He emphasised on common responsibilities to adhere to the ICAO and other international rules & regulations pertaining to air cargo security as well as harmonisation of those rules & regulations. “Security systems and requirements differs from country to country. However, there is a need of a unified system. The standardisation can be done by adopting appropriate technology. On the other hand, any additional measures cannot be taken as barrier for the air cargo industry,” he observed. He also emphasised on end-to-end security, rather than security only at airports.
Blasé D’Souza, Director Materials, Ingram Micro India, presented the user’s perspective at this conference. According to him, often shippers have to face delay and discomfort owing to untoward incidences like theft and pilferage. “In addition, our agencies often confuse security and customs issues. The security agency should do their job without getting influenced by other agencies like Customs,” he stressed. Though D’Souza urged for utilisation of technology to hasten security clearance, he appealed for not to burden air cargo by imposing additional costs. “Encourage e-freight, do away with paper documents and too many agencies to handle a shipment,” he recommended. He also recommended for a proper Risk Management System.
“There are lots of screening and technologies used for passenger/baggage security. Compared to these there is less investment for cargo security. However, in India we have introduced 100 per cent screening (x-ray) to strengthen the security system. Nevertheless, we will have to resolve a number of issues and challenges,” said,
RN Dhoke, Addl. Commissioner of Security, BCAS. He maintained that in India, one of the key challenges is to introduce Regulated Agent concept. He also emphasised on coordination between the security agency and industry stakeholders and adequate training to further strengthen security system at the airport level. Presenting the airlines perspective,
Vipan Jain, Head Bar India Cargo (NR) and Regional Manager, South Asia and Middle East, Lufthansa Cargo maintained that the EU ACC3, which is being implemented in July 1, 2014, will have huge significance for the air cargo movement to EU countries.
“The recent efforts of the European Commission favouring EU air carriers in their discussions with the US TSA are highly appreciated. But there is still a long road ahead. Since most EU carriers operate a hub and spoke system, one stop security starting at the first point of loading is of paramount importance,” Jain pointed out.
There is additional screening at the last point of departure required under the new EU ACC3, according to the Latest EU Commission drafts policy: Export of own security regime to 3rd countries instead of bilateral or multilateral recognition. As a result, there will be an interruption of logistics processes. “In addition, implementation of 3rd country RA/ KC through EU air carriers is not a feasible solution. Validation of 3rd country handling sites is an additional requirement. The target may be 3rd country air carriers, but EU carriers will be also affected, although they already safeguard security through their Aviation Security Programmes,” explained Jain. He also maintained that new technologies recommended by TSA and followed by EU for air cargo screening is a challenge.
Commenting on the Indian air cargo security scenario, Jain said that BCAS’ circular no. 8/2008 on Comprehensive Security Procedures in respect of cargo, express cargo, mail and courier bags is valid which allows four categories of security measures: Account Customer (for freighter class cargo), Known Consignor (original producer or manufacturer of goods), Regulated Agent Concept (warehouse operator at or off the airport) and Airlines Security Measures.
Jain also highlighted the challenges related to security at Indian airports. Cargo comes in loose condition ( rarely on skids or in ULDs). It comes to airport during a short duration due to traffic restrictions and consolidation at agent premises (24/7 not in full use). Packages required for examination are identified after entry in examination area which itself is a threat ( except Delhi Airport). Other challenges include multiple agencies performing X-ray inspections; insufficient security staff with Cat. 12 qualification; warehouses not designed according to 100% X-ray requirement; transportation chain is not linked with certification ( open entry for truckers) and various agencies involved in truck dock, examination & bonded area. The Conference was also addressed by
Rajinder Chana, First Secretary, Aviation Department for Transport, British High Commission, New Delhi.