ICAO and WCO join forces to strengthen air cargo security

28 June 2011

ICAO and WCO join forces to strengthen air cargo security

Brussels, 27 June 2011

Press Release

ICAO and the World Customs Organization (WCO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on increased cooperation to protect air cargo from acts of terrorism or other criminal activity and for speeding up the movement of goods by air worldwide, with more than 40% of freight by value travelling by air every year.

“The global air cargo system is a complex, multifaceted network for transporting vast amounts of freight, packages and mail on both passenger and all-cargo aircraft. The solution to improving security without sacrificing speed of delivery is through the consistent application of relevant and effective controls, from start to finish during the shipping process,” said Raymond Benjamin, Secretary General of ICAO.

“International trade is the lifeline of economies around the world and is critical to economic growth and social development,” said Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya. “Moving goods by air is an essential part of the global supply chain and ensuring the security of air cargo is paramount which is why this MoU is a powerful tool in our collective efforts to keep potential threats at bay,” he added.

Cooperation between ICAO and the WCO will focus on aligning the regulatory framework of both Organizations relative to air cargo and will include electronic advance data, the sharing of information at various levels (government-to-government, Customs-to-Customs and Customs-to-industry), training and education, and risk management.

Given the volume of goods transported by air and the impracticality of screening all cargo, a risk-based approach is considered necessary. WCO and ICAO experts will explore the application of risk management to cargo for identifying threats and implementing the required security measures, including the vetting of advance cargo information.

On 1 July, more stringent ICAO standards concerning air cargo become applicable, and will include a new requirement for Member States to establish a supply chain security process.

More information

ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization
WCO – World Customs Organization