Airlines will have to comply with the European Union (EU)’s new norms for air cargo security by July 1 or face a ban in transporting cargo or carrying cargo to the region’s airports. Airlines will now have to ensure cargo bound for the region is screened or comes from a secure supply chain. Airlines, including European ones, will need a security verification certificate for cargo operations at an airport outside the region. This means airlines will need to get their cargo security processes followed at the airports (from where the cargo is shipped) audited by EU-authorised validators. The International Air Cargo Association has warned of implementation challenges, though airports and cargo operators in India are confident of meeting the deadline.
Air India and Jet Airways did not respond to emails.
Airports have begun steps to comply with the norms. “The government could have lobbied with EU and secured an exemption from the verification process,” an industry source said. In April-November 2013, airports in India handled 950,000 tonnes of international freight.