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EU security requirements for incoming air cargo & mail

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

Status as of Mid 2014

The deadline of 1 July 2014 has passed without any major incident being reported to IATA CEIV. That is not to say all carriers are compliant: some of them may have been able to gain a temporary ACC3 designation (an extension) for up to 6 months for “objective reasons”. Any non-compliant carriers are encouraged to urgently contact their allocated EU appropriate authority and/or the IATA CEIV before the authorities contact them to regularize their situation.

The IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) invites carriers facing difficulties in regularizing their situation with authorities to inform CEIV, who will support them in this process.

Regulations for airlines applicable since February 2012

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

  • Ensure that certain standards for security are met prior to the loading of cargo or mail onto an aircraft bound to 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 in details how it operationally delivers its security responsibilities to the civil aviation authorities of the EU member state it flies cargo and/or mail to. 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 confidential EU regulations and is available to air carriers on request to their allocated EU member state of reference.

IATA's CEIV helps the industry to meet the new regulations by providing training, advice and support.

Independent 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).

Since 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. Check the IATA Aviation Security Independent Validators training to position yourself to become one.

If the ACC3 validated carrier 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, either as part of the carrier's accreditation or in their own right.


Additional information

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