The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) has voiced concern over a pending EU regulation that requires independent validation of agents involved in air cargo shipments to Europe.
The law is an amendment to the EU security regime for air cargo and mail and went into effect Feb 1. It requires an airline to validate agents in third-party countries on all shipments into Europe.
“Simply put, there seems to be a gap between the expected capacity requirement to implement independent validation by the 2014 deadline and the human resources that will be available by then,” David Fielder, chairman of FIATA’s advisory body on security matters, said in a recent speech in Switzerland. “FIATA believes that the requirement for independent validation of regulated agents and known consignors should lie with the respective regulators of the country concerned, especially where the regulated agent is already regulated by that governing administration.”
Fielder said the European Union should consider accepting the validation programs from third-party countries on a mutual recognition basis or by ensuring that a sufficient number of independent and trained third-party auditors are available.
“We cannot imagine that wise policymakers such as the EU Commission will not think of filling this gap by making a proposal in this direction, which could be accepted by our members, considering the freight forwarding industry handles some 90 percent of globally flown cargo volumes,” he said.
Fielder warned that if regulators are unable to resolve the issue, it could have “substantial repercussions” on the forwarding industry, particularly in Asia, the main supplier of imports to the EU region.