Alert: EU Air Cargo Security Regulations Take Effect Monday, April 29

Alert: EU Air Cargo Security Regulations Take Effect Monday, April 29

AIT Worldwide Logistics is committed to being your partner by supplying timely and informative communication coupled with relevant consultation that alleviates the complexity of global transportation management.

If your business includes importing goods via air from the European Union, please review the following alert.

In Brief

AIT recommends that our customers initiate a discussion with their EU vendors who utilize air service to the United States. This conversation should focus on determining which party will cover the fees associated with new mandatory cargo screening for shippers who have not been certified as Known Consignors (KC). New EU regulations taking effect on Monday, April 29 require physical security checks at airports for cargo tendered by shippers yet to be certified as KC. Since most shippers have not received certification, screening fees and delays are expected for the next three to six months.

Continue reading for additional details.

New EU Air Security Regulation (No. 185/2010)

This coming Monday, April 29, the EU will begin to enforce new regulations requiring air exporters to submit cargo for licensed security checks at the airport unless they have been certified as a ‘Known Consignor’ (KC) or an ‘Account Consignor’ (AC). This certification process involves a thorough audit conducted by an individual air security authority to ensure compliance with standards for air cargo preparation, storage, infrastructure and employee training. Because the new regulations were only finalized earlier this year, shippers had very little time to prepare and it has recently become apparent that most EU air exporters have NOT been certified.

Consequences of Not Being Certified

Any cargo tendered by a shipper that has yet to be certified must undergo a physical security check at the airport. Some cargo will be screened via X-ray and some will require hand checking. Shippers will be charged fees by the governmental agencies performing the licensed security screenings at EU airports. Note, most (if not all) airports are not sufficiently staffed to handle the volume of cargo they will suddenly be required to screen beginning on Monday.

What to Expect

  • Assume delays at EU airports for outbound cargo: AIT estimates the backlog created with regulations taking effect on Monday may result in delays of one to two days.
  • Anticipate additional fees and documentation: The per kilogram fee for physical security checks will vary from airport to airport. In the coming days, AIT will publish an airport specific list.
  • Prepare for this to be a short term issue: Within three to six months, we expect most EU shippers will become qualified which will eliminate the fees and delays caused by the new regulations.


This is a local governmental matter and neither AIT, nor our partners, nor anyone else in the industry can alleviate these bottlenecks. We suggest taking the following steps to effectively manage the situation.

  1. Contact your EU vendor(s) who ship air cargo to the US.
  2. Find out if they have been certified as KC or AC.
    • If your vendor is certified KC: You can count on your air imports from the EU to continue shipping as normal – no new mandatory screening at the airport required.
    • If your vendor is certified AC: They can avoid additional screening if they ship air cargo on full freighters only. Any cargo shipped on passenger airlines will still require a licensed security check at the airport.
      Note: Destination options are limited with full freighters and capacity may be tight.
    • If your vendor is not certified KC or AC: Initiate a conversation with your shipper to review the expected screening charges and determine which party will cover the associated fees. Use your contract with the vendor – specifically the incoterm agreed upon in the contract – as the guide to inform this discussion.


Please contact your AIT account executive directly for more information.

As always, thank you for your continued business with AIT as your global transportation management partner.

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