In a bid to further tighten security, screening requirements for air cargo to the United States will change from July 1 this year.
The changes mean that all air cargo being transported to the US must either be examined at piece level (box, carton, pallet or another deconsolidated form of cargo) or originate from a Known Consignor.
Australian-based exporters, freight forwarders and airlines must adopt strict new security measures to comply with the new US requirements, imposed by the US Government.
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development says the Government is working with Australian businesses to help them comply with the US requirements.
The Department is assisting companies to reduce red tape to enable a smooth transition.
Companies are advised to act now, or they will not be able to export to the US by air after July 1. The deadline imposed by the US is not negotiable, the Department warns.
Under the new measures, thousands of aviation staff, including freight forwarders, may be subjected to federal background checks.
Perth-based technology company Veritas has received Federal Government authorisation to provide Aviation Security Identification Cards (ASIC) for aviation sector personnel.
An ASIC is a nationally-consistent identification card that confirms the holder has a valid background check.
Since 2005, people working unescorted at airports within designated airside and landside security zones have needed the ID cards to operate.
With constant changes in the global security environment, risk assessments highlight the need for adding and extending multiple layers of security controls to delay, rather than prevent the advance of potential attacks.
Veritas Managing Director Stephen Inouye said: “This milestone enables Veritas to extend our technology-enabled security registration services from the maritime and offshore sectors to the aviation sector, thereby helping companies achieve compliance with minimal impacts to operations.”
As many as 11,000 companies may be impacted
Under the new requirements, all cargo leaving Australia and bound for the US may only be handled and screened by white ASIC ID holders.
Mr Inouye said Veritas now has the systems in place to assist thousands of airport staff and freight contractors to receive their white ASIC ID to ensure freight is on planes bound for the US in time.
The Office of Transport Security – administered by the Federal Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development – has identified 11,000 companies which could be impacted.
Mr Inouye said aviation industry workers can apply online and have their identity verified at Australia Post outlets nationwide.
“When using Veritas’ system, applicants can obtain ASIC cards in as little as one to two weeks,” he said. “This level of nationwide service is a first time offering that will enable the efficient running of many airports, agencies and private export companies.”