Home » Aviation » ICAO and WCO join forces to boost air cargo security

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) have banded together to protect air cargo from terrorist and criminal activities and speed up the movement of goods by air worldwide.

The two recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to align their regulatory frameworks on air cargo to include providing electronic advance data, sharing information at various levels (government-to-government, customs-to-customs and customs-to-industry), training and education, and managing risks.

A risk-based approach is necessary, given the volume of air cargo (over 40 percent of freight by value travels by air every year) and the impracticality of screening all cargo, the WCO said in a statement.

Part of the risk management efforts by WCO and ICAO experts will be to identify threats and implement the required securityty measures, including the vetting of advance cargo information.

“The global air cargo system is a complex, multifaceted network for transporting vast amounts of freight, packages and mail on both passenger and all-cargo aircraft,” said Raymond Benjamin, secretary general of ICAO. “The solution to improving securityty without sacrificing speed of delivery is through the consistent application of relevant and effective controls, from start to finish during the shipping process.”

Kunio Mikuriya, secretary general of WCO, stressed the importance of international trade as a lifeline for world economies and as a critical factor for economic growth and social development. “Moving goods by air is an essential part of the global supply chain and ensuring the securityty of air cargo is paramount, which is why this MOU is a powerful tool in our collective efforts to keep potential threats at bay.”

On July 1, more stringent ICAO standards concerning air cargo became applicable and included a new requirement for member-states to establish a supply chain securityty process.

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