With the first phase of 100 per cent cargo screening now operational in Hong Kong and no reported issues, Expeditors says it has Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) approved screening methods in place to meet the requirements.
The global logistics and forwarding company says its approved on-airport screening facility dedicated to Expeditors’ cargo, features enhanced handling procedures and staging areas.
“We also continue to make the necessary investments in personnel, training, equipment, infrastructure, and processes to run compliant cargo screening operations at our air Container Freight Station (CFS) facility,” it says.
The CAD launched the Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facilities (RACSF) directive for screening air cargo at both on-airport and off-airport locations effective 1 January 2020, after delaying the 2019 start of the phased-in screening out of peak season concerns.
The directive is in accordance to the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which stipulates 100 per cent cargo security screening by 30 June 2021.
Because of the substantial consolidation and build-up of cargo off-airport in Hong Kong, the CAD opted for a phased-in approach. The following is the scheduled roll-out.
Phase Duration Screening % (by weight)
Phase 1 Jan 2020 – April 2020 25%
Phase 2 May 2020 – Aug 2020 40%
Phase 3 Sept 2020 – Feb 2021 70%
Phase 4 March 2021 – June 2021 100%
Expeditors highlights the potential changes for shippers tendering cargo that may be impacted by the new screening process, particularly as the required percentages of screening grow.
Cargo will screen at a piece level
A shipment tendered on a pallet, where it is apparent that there are multiple pieces underneath the shrink-wrap or banding, may be broken down during the screening process.
CFS cut-off times and shipping schedules could be altered
The increase in handling procedures could add to the amount of time it takes to screen cargo. Changes to shipping schedules may be necessary.
There are multiple CAD-approved screening methods
These methods may include x-ray equipment, explosive trace detection (ETD), along with visual check and hand search if a shipment cannot be screened by the x-ray equipment. Additionally, CAD screening procedures may subject a shipment to physical inspection.
CAD-approved screening requires identification of screened cargo
Products shipped in ‘shelf-ready’ packaging may have screening labels added to indicate the cargo was screened. Utilising an outer or over-pack will help ensure inner packaging remains shelf-ready.
Screening fees will be applicable
Forwarders have the option to screen through a third party, utilise airlines’ direct screening service, or provide the service in-house.
Expeditors highlights: “Our customers will experience no changes or impacts to their current shipping schedules, shipment packages or skids, or baseline airfreight rates. We are committed to providing our customers with the most comprehensive and compliant solutions available.”