​IATA welcomed Changi Airport as the first airport in Asia to launch a community of cargo partners to achieve IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators on Pharmaceutical Handling (CEIV Pharma) certification. This is a significant boost for CEIV Pharma in Asia Pacific following Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) Coolport’s certification as the world’s first CEIV in pharmaceutical handling by IATA in November 2014.

Under this initiative, Changi Airport will support six companies from across the air cargo supply chain: SIA Cargo, dnata Singapore, Global Airfreight International, Expeditors Singapore, CEVA Logistics Singapore, and Schenker Singapore to pursue CEIV Pharma certification. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will co-fund the costs for these companies through the provision of assistance grants.

The CEIV Pharma certification program arises from the need to establish a proper operating procedure to effectively handle the air transport of pharmaceutical products, which are high-value, time and temperature sensitive. This is done through an in-depth, on-site inspection of processes and facilities, review of pharmaceutical trainings for staff, and gap analysis with recommendations and best practices. The program is a “GDP+” certification as it cover Goods Distribution Practices (GDPs) from all around the world, as well as international standards such as WHO Annex 5 (pdf) and IATA Chapter 17.

Besides Singapore, IATA has had discussions at other key locations in Asia Pacific to adopt a certification program to accelerate proper product handling for the pharma industry. These include Bangkok, Sydney, Tokyo and four cities in India, with plans of kicking-off awareness programs at Manila, Ho Chi Minh and Jakarta in 2016.