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TIACA pushes for global standards for advance data

By Staff Reports on August 7, 2014

TIACA’s Doug Brittin and Sue Presti discussed the industry’s views on advance data regimes for air cargo shipments at ICAO and WCO meetings held in Singapore from July 29 through Aug. 6. Advance data regimes, which ICAO and the WCO refer to as Air Cargo Information (ACI), have been piloted in the U.S. (under the acronym ACAS), the EU (PRECISE), and Canada (PACT). The ICAO and WCO meetings brought together industry representatives, customs authorities and civil aviation regulators.

TIACA expressed strong support for a risk-based security framework, noting that ACI – which seeks to identify 'a bomb in a box,' and operates in addition to existing aviation security measures – can be a beneficial component of such a framework for those countries that choose to establish such regimes. Because several countries are moving forward to do so, and because air cargo is a global industry, global standards for data submission elements, timelines and format, as well as communication and security mitigation protocols, are essential.  Such standards must be developed jointly by Customs (WCO), Civil Aviation (ICAO) and industry.

TIACA officials say there is a narrow window for action, given the imminent development of national legislation and regulations, which will have an impact on forwarders, brokers, and carriers globally. Practical work aimed at ensuring harmonized standards, interoperability, and operational feasibility is critical and must continue on an expedited basis. The global standards should include, at a minimum, the following principles:

  • The “7+1” data element subset is sufficient for a pre-departure risk assessment;
  • Pre-departure data regimes require that parties other than carriers be able to submit data;
  • Data submission and the return of risk assessment results must take place as early as possible in the supply chain to reduce disruption of supply chain operations;
  • The presumption that shipments keep moving until a referral is issued is an acceptable operating framework; and
  • ACI programs should apply to all shipments - cargo and mail - moving on all air carriers, and be flexible enough to accommodate the various business models in the air cargo industry.

These issues and many others will be debated during several workshops at TIACA’s Air Cargo Forum in Seoul, Korea, in October.