Following the disrupted terrorist plot in Sydney in July 2017, the Australian Government will be implementing security measures to strengthen Australia’s international outbound air cargo security.

From 1 March 2019, security requirements for air export cargo will change

With only a few months to go before the changes come into force, now is a good time to start preparing your business to meet the changes.

Under the new Australian rules, which come into effect on 1 March 2019, all outbound international air cargo – regardless of destination – will be examined at piece-level by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA) in accordance with an Enhanced Air Cargo Examination (EACE) notice or originate from a Known Consignor (KC).

Piece-level means that every individual box, carton or any other items in a shipment must be thoroughly examined by technology, or physically inspected before it gets loaded onto an aircraft.

In Australia, there are four approved examination methods:

  1. x-ray
  2. electronic metal detection
  3. explosive trace detection
  4. physical examination.
What are the options?

As an exporter, you’ll have two options once the new laws come into play– to either become a KC or to utilise a RACA. Any cargo that arrives at the airport without meeting the new requirements will be delayed or may even result in a refusal to load.

Option one: apply to become a Known Consignor

Businesses that make, manufacture, assemble or otherwise produce goods that become international air cargo and have an Australian Business Number (ABN) are eligible to apply to become a KS.

You could also be considered the originator of goods even when you don’t make them, but you’re the owner or person in control of the goods when they become cargo. For example, you might package up consignments at your facilities from goods made elsewhere for export by air.

Applications to become a KS involves first submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Option two: utilise a Regulated Air Cargo Agent

Utilising a Freight Forwarder who is an accredited RACA could be a more cost-effective option if you’re an infrequent exporter.

Start having the conversation

The Department of Home Affairs recommends devoting some time now to talk to your air cargo supply chain about:

  • if and how the changes will impact your current export arrangements
  • your options to minimise the impact of the changes
  • considerations for your business becoming a Known Consignor.

Want to know more?

For more information about the new air cargo security laws, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Home Affairs by calling 1300 791 581, or by sending the department an email.