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Transport Canada Air Cargo Security Program to introduce new participant categories


Transport Canada will be making changes to its Air Cargo Security Program, aiming at securing the supply chain while reducing cargo screening bottlenecks for the $100 billion per year of cargo departing from Canadian airports. The Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012, will be amended to expand the air cargo Secure Supply Chain, said the agency.
The program has three phases, the first of which is now complete, with requirements established for air carriers and freight forwarders.
The approach is based on three key principles:
•  That participants in the Air Cargo Security program are secure, with applicants undergoing a comprehensive application process and being thoroughly vetted and subject to inspection by Transport Canada.
•  Cargo must be screened by authorized participants using Transport-Canada prescribed methods to enter the Secure Supply Chain, and
•  Participants ensure cargo maintains its secure status through verifiable chain-of-custody procedures.
In the fall of 2015, members of the air cargo industry will be able to apply to participate in the Air Cargo Security Program under new participant categories. Participation is voluntary for secure supply chain stakeholders, who should base their decision on the nature of their cargo operations and their business needs.
The second phase of the program, expected to be in force by the fall of 2016, expands the secure supply chain to shippers and other cargo operators. The air cargo industry is expected to have more options to determine where within the supply chain authorized participants can screen cargo to make it secure for air transport on flights carrying both passengers and cargo. (Phase 3, scheduled for 2017, will see requirements enhanced for all-cargo air carriers and industry training.)
“Transport Canada is now doing targeted outreach to shippers. We don’t expect most shippers to become ‘known consignors’, depending on their degree of involvement. We have a bit more variety of participant options and we hope this allows industry to find a fit. If shippers are good candidates to become known consignors we can have a discussion with them and help alleviate any concerns about potential bottlenecks,” said Michael Campbell, Chief, Air Cargo Security Promotion & Outreach, Aviation Security, Program Development, with Transport Canada, in a presentation to the air cargo industry May 19.
He noted that Transport Canada is consulting with industry and will come forward with options that can be used in chain of custody requirements.
Canadian shippers will be able to participate in the Air Cargo Security Program under one of two proposed new participant categories-Known Consignor or Account Consignor.
Known consignors originate cargo and screen it by way of packing to make it secure. Shippers of high value, unique, or perishable air cargo might apply to become known consignors for quality control of their product, to reduce potential security delays and/or to reduce additional screening fees.
Account consignors originate cargo and have an authorized participant screen it to make it secure.
Shippers might apply to become account consignors because it is more cost effective for their business than building screening capacity within their own organization, and/or, there is low risk of damage to their cargo by having a third party screen it due to the nature of their product.
If shipping to the U.S., shippers must be either known consigners or account consigners (with additional screening potentially required), while non-participant shippers would face limits on where and how their cargo could be transported by air. These details would be confidential, said the agency.
The program will transition existing Registered Shippers to Account Consignor status under the amended regulations expected to come into force in fall 2016. Existing Registered Shippers wishing to reduce potential security delays and/or reduce additional screening fees should apply to the Air Cargo Security Program as Known Consignors in fall 2015.
Those not applying to become Known Consignors will become Account Consignors but Transport Canada may need to acquire additional information from them.
Transport Canada is also rolling out an application process in fall of 2015 for Certified Agents, who accept, store and/or transport cargo that has been screened and made secure by and authorized participant in the Air Cargo Security Program, for Regulated Agents, who screen cargo on behalf of others to make it secure and subsequently store and/or transport the secure cargo, and for Authorized Cargo Administrators, who direct the movement of secure cargo without coming into contact with it (i.e. provide logistics services without screening, storing and/or transporting the secure cargo).