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Growing parcel volumes face down regulations

By Staff Reports on April 10, 2014

Mail parcel volumes, growing because of e-commerce, are creating further challenges for pending advance data filing regulations, secretary general of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) said.

The new regulations would require individual shipment information to be submitted to destination regulatory agencies in advance of transportation, rather than the present Customs’ requirement for information prior to arrival at the port of entry, Douglas Brittin told the Universal Postal Union (UPU)’s Postal Security Group, a meeting of postal organizations.

The air cargo industry and postal operators need to continue working closely with customs and civil aviation security regulators to ensure new data submission regulations and screening protocols are standardized, Brittin said at the meeting in Bern, Switzerland.

“With mail parcels, we are potentially dealing with a different type of shipper, and we are looking at significant and growing volumes,” he said.

This may lead to a high percentage of shipments designated for additional security screening, he added.

Operationally, the challenge would be identifying where the individual parcels are located if the information is not processed by regulators quickly.

“Postal operators face their own challenges when it comes to screening," Brittin said. “A shipment may be only one piece in a unit load device, but may be required to be found, off-loaded and screened. We need to work to ensure standardization of the data elements themselves, as well as security screening protocols, which now vary significantly.”

Advance data programs, such as the U.S.’s ACAS, the European Union’s PRECISE and Canada’s PACT, will be on the agenda at TIACA’s Annual General Meeting and Executive Summit in Istanbul on April 24 and 25.

TIACA is working with customs and security regulators toward ensuring data elements for cargo and mail, analysis and messaging procedures, and screening and response protocols are all standard, and screening regulations are not premature.