Canada aims at $177m pre-screening savings

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Shippers in Canada could save 202 million Canadian dollars ($177.5 million) over 10 years, according to Canadian government transportation authority, Transport Canada, as a result of being allowed to pre-screen cargo prior to it arriving at an airport. 

The new regulations, which will be fully implemented in 2016, will allow permitted shippers to join the air cargo security programme, allowing them to pre-screen cargo for bellyhold flights prior to it arriving at the airport. Under the proposed amendments, if the known shipper has screened the cargo and the regulated agent and air carrier can verify the chain of custody, it will go on the aircraft.

At present, cargo, if the air carrier cannot verify its security, will be screened, before being placed on the aircraft. The other situation at the moment is if a regulated agent receives cargo unverified as secure, it will screen it before passing it onto the carrier. 

Transport Canada tells Air Cargo Week (ACW): “Businesses wishing to join the Air Cargo Security Programme must first apply and undergo a careful assessment process before being accepted into the programme. Once accepted, programme participants would be subject to on-going comprehensive and targeted inspections against regulatory requirements.” Transport Canada says voluntary participants, which is everyone excluding carriers, who do not comply can face fines, account suspension or be removed from the programme. Transport Canada tells ACW that the new regulations will clarify the requirements for handling and transporting air cargo. It says: “These changes will enhance air cargo security and ensure comparability with key trading partners.”

It carried out public consultations in the cargo hubs of Vancouver, Edmonton, Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, St John’s and Moncton asking for feedback from shippers, small businesses and other stakeholders between September and October 2012. Transport Canada says this feedback helped develop the proposals for the new regulations to improve air cargo security. In March 2012 the Canadian and US governments signed a mutual recognition agreement recognising each other’s security requirement. 

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