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Fact Sheet: Cargo Security

Secure Freight

  • Secure Freight is IATA’s response to an inconsistent air cargo security regulatory environment. Commencing in 2008, and including pilot activities in 15 countries, the program has established itself as an effective tool for regulators to develop secure supply chains and meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 17.
  • In 2015 Secure Freight transitions from a pilot project to an operational capacity development activity. In practical terms, this approach means Secure Freight will no longer be limited to selected pilot countries, but will be available to all countries through a mechanism of either a direct funding arrangement, or implemented as a capacity development activity with the financial support of a third party donor country or agency.
  • In 2015 IATA will continue to provide Secure Freight standards, guidance material and templates to regulators at no cost, and will also review a country’s national security regulations against the Secure Freight Standards free of charge. Only where a country requires assistance to implement Secure Freight will IATA seek donor funding.
  • The principles of Secure Freight have been recognized by the European Commission, the UK Department for Transport, the Australian Office of Transport Security, and the World Customs Organization.
  • IATA works collaboratively with ICAO to develop cargo security standards, and elements of the IATA Secure Freight Standards Manual, including the Known Consignor Security Program and the Consignment Security Declaration are included in ICAO Doc 8973 as Recommended Practices.
  • While Secure Freight is focused on the prevention of acts of unlawful interference to air cargo, extensive case studies undertaken on the direct and indirect economic impact of Secure Freight on two pilot participants have highlighted that the implementation of Secure Freight leads to significant economic benefits for the participant country’s economy.

e-Consignment Security Declaration (CSD/ e-CSD)

  • The Consignment Security Declaration (CSD) is a mechanism created by IATA to avoid duplicate screening by supply chain stakeholders and reduce congestion at the airport. 
  • The leading principle is that consignments secured upstream in the supply chain do not need to be rescreened when a consignment security declaration is provided as proof that the cargo has been maintained secured and sterile.
  • Stakeholders have also determined that e-CSD brings trade facilitation benefits through the provision of better data quality and easier access, scrutiny and processing by entities and regulators in the supply chain.
  • The Electronic Consignment Security Declaration (e-CSD) is the automated version of the CSD and contains the same data fields/requirements of the CSD. 
  • The CSD and e-CSD meet regulatory demands for evidence that appropriate security measures have been applied to air cargo and mail by detailing how, when and by whom a consignment of cargo or mail has been secured. 
  • Guidance, including a global template and completion instructions, are set down in the Chicago Convention’s guidance material (Security Manual document 8973) to Annex 17. This guidance material has been developed to avoid a plethora of different security declarations being put in place that would disrupt trade flows and add little value to supply chain security.

Status update

  • Nine airlines have already committed via Letters of Intent (LOI) and Road Maps and most of them have completed implementation of the e-CSD in their IT systems. 
  • The CSD has been endorsed by the Mexican CAA (DGAC) and the Association of Mexican Carriers (CANAERO) implemented it for all airline cargo operations out of the country. 
  • Bahrain CAA, Qatar CAA, Gulf Air and the GHA BAS formally committed to the e-CSD implementation and roll-out and a regulatory directive to the industry will be issued soon by the CAA.


  • IATA is working with the United States (Air Cargo Advance Screening, ACAS) and European Commission (Pre-Loading Consignment Information for Secure Entry, PRECISE) and Canada (Pre-Load Air Cargo Targeting, PACT) to develop electronic targeting systems to identify high risk cargo prior to loading for additional scrutiny in order to mitigate security risks. IATA is also working with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to develop associated global Customs standards.. 


  • The IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) has been formally accredited by 13 EU States and remains the only accredited independent validator training center in the world.
  • Over 100 validators have been trained to-date, with over 80 certified by EU Member States.
  • IATA CEIV ensured over 200 member airlines were advised of the new regulations and were aware of the actions they needed to take to be compliant by the deadline of 1 July 2014. 
  • With our support, many carriers have agreed to validation sampling regimes with their EU regulators that substantially reduced the immediate- and medium-term impacts of the regulation, including the cost. 
  • An indirect benefit (of CEIV) is that deadline flexibility (of possibly up to six months for “objective reasons beyond the carrier’s control”) has now been agreed by EU States e.g., until 1 January 2015. 
  • CEIV is available to support carriers wishing to create and agree to compliance rectification action plans with their allocated EU Appropriate Authorities. IATA remains confident, if all members play their part, air cargo movements into and through Europe will continue normally following the extended 1 January 2015 deadline.


December 2014


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