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From 1 July 2014, the rules on bringing air cargo into the European Union (EU) will change. Mike Woodall, project leader, independent validation and regulation engagement for IATA, explains how the association is helping the industry meet the new requirements

Air transport industry rules and regulations constantly evolve and airlines have no choice but to keep up with the flow of new standards – many of which are not mutually recognised or harmonised by regulators. One of the most important new regulations to have recently emerged is the air cargo or mail carrier operating into the EU from a third-country airport directive, commonly known as ACC3. In order to guide these air cargo carriers through the ACC3 regulations, IATA has created a Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) to train, support and offer advice to industry stakeholders and potential independent validators.


As of July 2014, virtually all players operating into the EU from third-country airports will be required to obtain an independent EU Aviation Security Validation in order to maintain their existing ACC3 designation. This new independent validation requirement, that will need reissuing every five years, is critical if carriers are to continue flying cargo into Europe from July next year.


According to the European Commission’s own evaluations, this new stipulation will potentially affect thousands of carrier stations. Failing to receive this validation will result in the loss of the existing ACC3 designation, and consequently the prohibition of any air cargo shipment into or through the EU. Equally, direct shippers, forwarders and handlers will, if they wish to continue applying upstream security measures on behalf of carriers, also need to be independently validated – either as part of the carriers’ validation programmes or in their own right. These are major changes and many airlines, concerned by the cost and deadline implications, have asked IATA to help generate and train sufficient independent validators to meet the expected demand. In addition, the industry was actively encouraged by the European Commission and member states to step up and help solve the problem.


Aware of this growing concern, the IATA CEIV has been created to offer the industry the following:


  • Pre-validation assessment guidelines, standard validation methodology and self-assessment tools (to help airlines and other entities test their state of readiness);
  • A tailored carrier-specific scoping exercise of countries and stations that may require prioritised validation;
  • Training courses to prepare validators, airlines and other affected entities for the challenges and deadlines that lie ahead (including three-day EU ACC3 Awareness Workshops for industry representatives and five-day EU ACC3 Aviation Security Independent Validators Training for those wishing to become independent validators); and
  • A database detailing validated secure operators.


The IATA CEIV will help the industry prepare for ACC3 in two ways: raising awareness of member airlines and the supply chain, and training validators. Industry participants on the three-day ACC3 awareness workshops will learn how EU regulations related to the ACC3 will affect them. They will understand the objectives and intent of the ACC3 EU Aviation Security checklist, be able to prioritise stations within their network that will need to be independently validated and gain insights into how they might maximise efficiencies and reduce validation costs. In addition, they will be able to take maximum advantage of lessons learned to date as a result of ‘live trials’ that have already been conducted, and look to apply or seek approval for mutualisation benefits and potentially beneficial alternative measures.


On the other hand, the EU member-state-accredited Aviation Security Independent Validators Training (required training foreseen in EU regulation 1082/2012) will educate those professionals who wish to become EU-accredited Independent Aviation Security Validators, recognised and approved by an EU member state. No entity is able to self-validate and there are strict conflict of interest and independence requirements within the regulations – as such, this course is ideally suited to those professionals who will provide the services carriers and other entities will be required to employ by 1 July 2014 and beyond.


Further information, together with full details of all course dates and locations is available via the IATA website: 

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