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Incompatible security regulations will slow air cargo movements

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
June 29, 2010

Vital international movements of airfreight could be delayed, and costs will increase, because European and U.S. security regulations are incompatible.

As reported in LM news today, The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) is working intensely with the World Customs Organization to promote global modernization and standards. But is that too little, too late?

Poor communication between the respective authorities was also highlighted as an impediment to a future secure supply chain at the Executive Summit of TIACA earlier in Leipzig earlier this month.

Karl-Heinze Köpfle, Executive Board Member Operations at Lufthansa Cargo, told the conference he was surprised that standardized security protocols had still not been agreed nine years on from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Ten separate agencies were imposing dissimilar rules, Köpfle said. In particular, the approach of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the U.S. made little sense.

“We were horrified to note that the EU and U.S. differ on fundamental points. There is a different philosophy and they don’t harmonize,” he said.

“Alongside this, other countries have drafted their own regulations. There are an astonishing number of these. None translate immediately into practice.”

Jan Mücke, Parliamentary Secretary of State in the German Ministry of Transport, began the heated debate by explaining that Europe’s Secure Supply Chain initiative focused on shippers and forwarders with the aim of reducing potential airport bottlenecks, but complained that the US did not recognize the European Commission’s control mechanisms.

Mücke was also concerned that, ahead of the August 3 deadline for screening all cargo traveling on outbound passenger aircraft from the US, an interim demand for 75 percent screening by May 1 had been introduced at short notice. He called for carriers meeting EU Secure Supply Chain requirements to be exempted from the screening requirement.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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