Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has launched its Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facilities (RACSF) Scheme to establish air cargo security screening facilities at off-airport locations in preparation for new global regulatory requirements in 2021.
The move comes well ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirement for all air cargo to be subjected to security screening by 30 June 2021. The new measures are a response to what ICAO has said are rising threats of terrorism around the globe.
“Hong Kong is in full support of and has the obligation to meet the ICAO aviation security requirements. The Government has been working closely with the air cargo industry in enhancing the air cargo security regime to meet the new international aviation security requirements,” a CAD spokesman says.
Currently security screening of air cargo in Hong Kong primarily takes place at the cargo terminals of the airport. But given Hong Kong’s limited land space and high volumes of cargo throughput, authorities determined that the only way to meet the new ICAO requirement was to allow the security screening of air cargo at off-airport locations.
This will be accomplished the CAD said, by gradually increasing screening capacity over the next few years in the lead up to the 2021 deadline.
“Following trade consultation, we have introduced the RACSF Scheme, which is a new initiative to enable and regulate air cargo screening at off-airport locations. The establishment of off-airport screening facilities will enable air cargoes to be screened at the existing warehouses or similar premises of the air cargo industry before such cargoes are transported to the airport for loading onto aircraft,” the spokesman adds.
The operation of off-airport air cargo screening facilities has to meet specific security requirements in terms of screening equipment, training and supervision of screening personnel, site security and so on. There are also security requirements to observe insofar as post-screening handling and transportation are concerned.
“Parties interested in operating off-airport air cargo screening facilities are encouraged to submit applications by the deadline of the initial stage,” of 31 December 2018. “This is to enable the parties to secure early acceptance by the CAD,” the spokesman adds.
More information about the RACSF Scheme, including the application form, is available from CAD’s website. Interested parties can now submit applications to the Aviation Security Section of the Airport Standards Division of the CAD by one of the following methods:
• by mail: Level 5, Office Building, Civil Aviation Department Headquarters, 1 Tung Fai Road, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, Hong Kong
• by fax: 2362 4257
• by e-mail: [email protected]
The deadline for submitting applications for the initial stage is December 31, 2018.