The European Commission has delayed implementation of its known consignor rule, a new security law for shippers using air cargo out of Europe, from March 25 to April 29.
Once the rule takes effect, only companies listed as known consignors can designate their air freight as secure.
Status can be achieved by training employees about security in the supply chain and by enhancing other security practices. Firms that don’t submit to the new guidelines will see their shipments undergo increased screening.
Last year, DB Schenker’s Sven Bosch detailed the rule changes and what it meant for shippers in Europe. He said the European Union has imposed such high security demands on known consignors that only a fraction of shippers had applied for the status as of last fall. But he did note refusing known consignor status will increase costs.
“Customers who refrain from registering will have to accept additional screening costs and have to consider the fact that their shipments, due to this screening, will be subject to delays,” he said at the time.
According to the European Shippers Council, there was a bit of uncertainty as to the new rule’s start date, with many in the industry preparing for compliance as of the end of April. The start date was pushed back a month after the European Commission talked with representatives from EU member states.
The shippers’ organization, nonetheless, is concerned about the rule and what it meana for many EU countries. A press release from ESC pointed out that while some larger countries already adhere to the rules, many do not.
“ESC therefore thinks that this anti-terrorism measure could lead to a disturbance in the air cargo supply chain — with consequences for shippers and the air cargo industry in Europe,” the press release said. “ESC urges all shippers not yet certified for the known consignor status to take advantage of this time-delay.” - Jon Ross