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TEGACS 14th Meeting marks the successful conclusion of its Terms of Reference

10 febrero 2020

An attempt to use air cargo as a delivery mechanism for explosive devices from Yemen in 2010 raised serious concerns about the vulnerability of international trade supply chains. The successful foiling of that bomb plot demonstrated the need for enhanced cooperation and collaboration between public and private sector stakeholders, and especially between Customs and Aviation authorities.  At its 64th session held in Shanghai in December 2010, the World Customs Organization (WCO) Policy Commission issued a Communiqué on Enhancing Air Cargo Security and Facilitation that identified air cargo security threats, stressed the contribution and role of Customs in air cargo security and underlined the WCO instruments and tools contributing to the protection of air cargo systems.

In line with the outcomes of the discussions at the December 2010 Policy Commission, the Technical Experts Group on Air Cargo Security (TEGACS) was established in February 2011 with involvement from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and other private sector stakeholders. The key objective was to enhance air cargo security by enhancing cooperation amongst Customs, Aviation Security (AVSEC) authorities and the private sector, and promoting synergies between their respective instruments, tools and programmes. 

In keeping with its mandate over the last decade, TEGACS has provided a forum to discuss issues and challenges relating to air cargo security, encompassing the technical mechanism for implementing Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI), standardized data, alignment of security programmes, capacity building activities, the sharing of information, and better use of technology.

The 14th session of the TEGACS:

  • Noted the “Joint WCO-ICAO Guiding principles for PLACI” that were approved by the 22nd SAFE Working Group (SWG) Meeting;
  • Approved the draft “Joint WCO-ICAO Guidelines on Alignment of the Customs Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and AVSEC Regulated Agent (RA) / Known Consignor (KC) programmes”; and,
  • Approved the draft “Joint WCO-ICAO Action Plan - Air Cargo Security 2020-2022.”  

TEGACS also acknowledged important tools and instruments delivered by the Group, such as the:

  • Updating of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards with the provisions dedicated to enhancing Air cargo security;
  • Publishing of the “Joint WCO-ICAO brochure - Moving Air Cargo Globally”;
  • Development of the “Joint WCO-ICAO Training Module”; and,
  • The convening of Joint WCO-ICAO Workshops in four regions, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and East and Southern Africa.

Delegates agreed that TEGACS had successfully fulfilled its Terms of Reference and that future collaborative work on Air cargo security would continue under the SAFE Working Group. The fruitful collaboration with the ICAO Secretariat and its Member States, the UPU and other stakeholders was appreciated and commended at the Meeting.

Finally, the TEGACS discussed and agreed on a report that makes recommendations to the Policy Commission on relevant issues.  This includes: how advance electronic information for the import and export of air cargo could be best utilized; how to align the Customs and Aviation Security programmes; and, how to continue engagement between ICAO and the WCO on Air Cargo Security.