Air Cargo Security (ACS) Technical Experts Group

The Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security brings together relevant intergovernmental and private sector stakeholders to achieve a coherent and strategic approach to supply chain security in the air cargo environment.

Draft Terms of Reference Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security

Drafted – January 2011 as amended  

Technical Experts Group

Established : February 2011

Duration :   On completion of the report of the key deliverables to the Policy Commission

1. Mandate

The Technical Experts Group shall meet to fulfil the outcomes of the high level discussions at the Policy Commission in Shanghai on 6 - 7 December 2010 and confirmed by the Policy Commission and Council in June 2011.  In the air cargo context the WCO has formal co-operation with ICAO, UPU and relevant industry representatives and organisations across the range of shared policy and business interests. The Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security is established to promote synergies with each other’s instruments, tools and programmes. In particular this extends to strategic elements such as standardised data, known trader programmes, risk mitigation through risk management, Intelligence and threat information sharing and better use of technology.

The Technical Experts Group is to act under the overall direction of the Policy Commission, and reports to the SAFE Working Group, with administrative support provided by the WCO Secretariat.

2. Membership

The membership will be open to all interested Members of the WCO, Transport Ministries, Federal Police, Border Agencies, Intergovernmental Organizations, International Organizations and private sector. 

3. Purpose and Scope

Based on Members’ experience and operational measures, the purpose of the Technical Experts Group is to:

 Bring together, where appropriate and comparable to the security outcome, the requirements of aviation security and Customs security as part of a strategic approach to supply chain security

Examine commonalities and differences between aviation and Customs approaches to Air Cargo Security Identify existing Customs measures which, if implemented by ICAO members, would enhance the security over air cargo and, in addition, determine which Customs measures require strengthening to improve air cargo security.

Assess which measures contained in the respective instruments could be included  in  the other’s instruments with a view to ensuring that processes are harmonized to the greatest extent possible.

Having regard to the purpose and objectives of  Regulated Agentsand Known Consignors(ICAO); and Authorized Economic Operators (WCO) ,determine what changes would be required to the schemes to achieve a greater level of compatibility, harmonization and cross-recognition. Assess how advance electronic information for import and export air cargo could be best utilized to improve air cargo security.     Having regard to the work being carried out by similar working groups and to avoid any conflict and duplication of measures/initiatives, identify if any gaps exist between the efforts of the groups.

4. Key Deliverables

A report to be presented to the Policy Commission that makes recommendations:

As to how advance electronic information for import and export air cargo could be best utilised Having regard to the purpose and objectives of the different supply chain security programmes, identify possible areas  to achieve a greater level of compatibility, harmonization and cross-recognition On how this work could be taken forward e.g. on potential measures that could respond more effectively to air cargo security needs; definition of high risk cargo; risk assessment methodology

 5. Means of Operation

The Technical Experts Group elects the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson from among the Members of the Group.The meetings will be conducted in the two official languages of the Organization, English and French, and will be held at the WCO Headquarters, unless participants agree otherwise.  Work between the meetings will be conducted by electronic means (e-mail, etc.).  A report on the outcome of each meeting will be prepared by the WCO Secretariat and circulated to the Members of the Group.  The Members of the Group will have 10 working days to indicate any comments to the draft report.

6. Resources Required

The Technical Experts Group will hold its sessions as and when required, and subject to approval by the appropriate bodies. However, the Secretary General may determine whether circumstances dictate the need for scheduling meetings more or less frequently.  Normally each session will last two days, depending on the number and complexity of items on the agenda.

The general administrative arrangements and provision of support services shall be the responsibility of the WCO Secretariat.