TEGACS moves forward with the Guiding Principles for Pre-loading Advance Cargo Information

30 April 2018

The 12th meeting of the Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security (TEGACS), held from 24 to 25 April 2018 at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, brought together over 60 delegates from Customs administrations, transport authorities, international organizations and industry.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Ana B. Hinojosa, WCO Director Compliance and Facilitation, welcomed all the delegates, thanking them for their commitment and hard work to secure and facilitate the air cargo supply chain to ensure the efficiency of international trade and world economic development. Referring to recent global air cargo security concerns, she underlined the importance of continuing to make progress on Pre-loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) to enhance supply chain security.

Participants were informed about the status of the PLACI pilot projects by the European Union, the United States (US), and Canada. The US indicated that its Air Cargo Advance Screening rule was likely to be published this year, and the United Kingdom stated that it was developing another PLACI pilot project in cooperation with the US. On that basis, the draft guiding principles for PLACI were then endorsed by the TEGACS.

The cooperation between the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the WCO was emphasized in presentations by representatives of the respective organizations. As part of such joint efforts, the alignment of the WCO SAFE Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and ICAO Regulated Agent/Known Consignor schemes was discussed. The TEGACS was also informed about emerging screening technology and the challenges posed by drones and remotely piloted aircraft systems. The panel acknowledged that these represented emerging challenges for air cargo security and that ways must be found to become more flexible in response to quickly evolving disruptive technologies and to remove artificial barriers that may exist.

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the future of the TEGACS. The group was of the opinion that while the status quo may not be the way forward, taking a phased approach to its integration into another working group within the WCO should be considered.