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Paperless declaration trial a successs: IATA

First step in gaining acceptance for Electronic Consignment Security Declaration


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GENEVA, Switzerland—The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Electronic Consignment Security Declaration (e-CSD) has passed the first hurdle to adoption. It was successfully used in trials in two separate countries.

The e-CSD is an electronic replacement for paper-based documentation that shows evidence of who secured a cargo or mail shipment, where it was secured, how it was secured and when it was secured.

The AITA spent 18 months coming up with standards to ensure the processing, data capture and documentation of evidence was done in a consistent and secure manner, making it easier for countries and agencies to find the e-CSD credible and eventually allowing it to replace an assortment of older security documents.

The initial trials were conducted in the UK. The second test was performed in the Netherlands.

During the London experiment, direct shipments were tested as were Kuehne + Nagel consolidated shipments that were transported from London’s Heathrow Airport to Charles de Gaulle in Paris on Air France planes. The e-CSD information was sent directly from Servisair facility at Heathrow in co-operation with the UK department for transport, over the Traxon network.

According to the IATA, the UK trials prove:

  • The necessary security information for a master air waybill consolidation security declaration was transmitted by K+N and successfully received by Servisair who provides ground handling services for Air France.
  • The necessary supporting security information for the individual house bills associated to the master air waybill was contained in the K+N internal system.

In the Netherlands trial, two live data transmissions were sent. The first was for a direct back-to-back shipment sent by a single shipper in at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to a consignee in at Shanghai PVG. The second was a consolidated shipment from Schiphol to New York’s John F Kennedy airport. The tests were run by Air Cargo Netherlands and audited by the NCTV Ministry of Security and Justice and the Royal Marechaussee.

“These successful trials will improve both security and efficiency. The e-CSD is a key element in securing the whole supply chain. By establishing that cargo and mail consignments have been correctly secured upstream of the airport and through transit points, bottlenecks and delays will be reduced. The endorsement of the UK Department of Transport and regulators in the Netherlands is very significant, as this paves the way for other key regulators to review and hopefully endorse the e-CSD in the months to come,” said Des Vertannes, IATA global head of cargo.

Vertannes said the next step was to conduct trials of live, operational shipments over the coming months.

“Once this limited live trial period is completed, the industry will be able to replace the wide variety of security declarations used today with a global harmonized electronic consignment security declaration.”