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New EU security requirements for incoming air cargo & mail

In response to October 2010 incidents and the risk of explosive devices being introduced in the supply chain, the EU Commission reviewed its aviation security legislation. In August 2011, new regulations were adopted for the security of incoming air cargo and mail.

Go to the EC new regulations

Regulations for airlines applicable since February 2012

The new regulations applicable since February 2012 are focused on air carriers as opposed to foreign states. They require air carriers flying cargo and mail into the EU from non-EU countries to:

  • Ensure that certain standards for security are met prior to the loading of an aircraft bound for the EU
  • Be designated as an “Air Cargo or Mail Carrier operating into the Union from a Third Country Airport” (ACC3)

Obtaining the ACC3 status

To obtain ACC3 status, the air carrier must deliver a “Declaration of Commitments” setting out how it has its aviation security responsibilities to the civil aviation authorities of an EU member state to whom it flies cargo and/or mail. The template for the Declaration of Commitments is set out in the EU Regulations.

The Declaration of Commitments must cover every non-EU airport from which cargo or mail is flown to the EU, with one exception:  air carriers flying cargo or mail direct from a “Green” listed country into the EU. The Green list is set down in the regulations and available to air carriers on request to their EU member state of reference.

Independant validators

ACC3s are obliged to ensure that cargo and mail destined for the EU is screened or comes from a secure supply chain (this can be evidenced with a Consignment Security Declaration).

  • Until 30 June 2014, the security standards foreseen by ICAO as a minimum must apply
  • From 1 July 2014, the EU regulations state that ACC3’s must be in possession of security verifications of their cargo and mail operations at the relevant non-EU airports. This verification activity must be undertaken by an independent validator, certified by an EU regulator 

If the ACC3 wishes to have the security controls applied by a business partner such as Known Consignors, Regulated Agents or Ground Handlers at non-EU airports, these entities will also have to undergo independent validation.



Additional information

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