International Freight Forwarder Association

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FIATA issues statement concerning air cargo security at the ICAO Meeting in Canada, as follows:

Monday, December 6, 2010

As our membership acts as transportation intermediary for the vast majority of the commercial air cargo carried internationally by the world’s airlines. Our responsibilities include selection of carriers (surface and air), booking of cargo, transport to and from airport, verification of cargo as ready for carriage, in addition to accomplishing customs, security, transport, banking and insurance formalities.

FIATA believes that Governments and in particular the US Government should consult industry on establishing best methods to prevent terrorism and interference of cargo in transit.

FIATA believes the requirement that shipments from a shipper that does not have an established business relationship of more than 30 calendar days and an established shipping and billing address is not permitted, will prevent business development and does not support either a risk based approach to security and appears to defeat the objective of 100% screening of cargo being an accepted security measure.

FIATA believes that making the airlines the sole implementation of the MAWB Declaration. FIATA, being cargo industry specialists, believes airlines as well as governments and freight forwarders should be involved from the start in order to achieve a greater coordination hopefully resulting in a common platform of solutions.

FIATA believes and supports a risk based approach to security and acceptance that the persons handling cargo day to day are best positioned to provide workable feedback to governments in the introduction of security measures. The forwarder is also best placed to undertake shipment evaluation (who is the shipper, the recipient, viewing the cargo and other indicators) that would serve to highlight “red flag” shipment which might be of a dubious nature

FIATA supports a risk based multi-layered solution and not simply relying upon “knee jerk“ reactions of designed to remove the risk by banning certain cargoes.

FIATA further believes that reactive implementation of preventative measures does not support a risk based approach and would support implementation of proactive measures based on risk assessments considering the differences in carriage of personal effects on passenger aircraft, express mail, and cargo shipments.

FIATA believes that risks attached to passenger baggage and express cargo is not mirrored in general cargo handled from forwarders. The methodology of cargo movement coupled with the various pre advice requirements along with the unpredictable routing, potential off-loading of cargo is not an attractive one for terrorist. The pre-advise requirements significantly help to ensure cargo is not uplifted without prior knowledge of the consignee and their forwarder and the acceptance of the shipment being known and genuine.