The 1 January expiry of some 200 temporary ACC3 accreditations for various cargo handling facilities and carriers around the world has not resulted in any negative impacts as of 27 January 2015, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) told Payload Asia, but the ultimate sanction of banning cargo uplift into Europe is still on the table.
The original ACC3 deadline was 1 July 2014, which saw nearly 1,100 independent validations conducted with about 120 IATA members holding designations for their various stations. The remaining 120 or so IATA members are either not flying cargo to Europe or they’re flying cargo from so-called ‘green-list’ countries who have no ACC3 requirement.
For carriers unable to complete the validation process of third country supply chains and facilities in time for the 1 July 2014 deadline, a six-month extension was possible from the carriers’ member state of reference, as was the case in these 200 temporary declarations. Speaking to cargo media in Geneva in early December, Gordon Wright senior manager, cargo customs and facilitation at IATA said: The biggest challenge now is that 200 of the destinations that we have today exist with the temporary six-month extension that will run out on 1 January.”
In his response to Payload Asia queries on the expiration, Mike Woodall, project leader cargo security independent validation & international regulatory engagement at IATA explained that the number ‘200’ relates to, “location specific/carrier specific ACC3 designations, thus the number ‘200’ does not represent 200 carriers, or 200 locations, but a myriad of potential combinations of the two.”
“IATA are currently engaging with the EU Commission, who hold the consolidated ACC3 designation list, to ascertain the exact up-to-date status of all ACC3-affected carriers based upon the status reports the Commission receives and collates from 31 EU/EEA States.”
He added: “IATA’s understanding is that to-date no carriers have been directly and negatively impacted by the 1 January ‘deadline’ – but it must be noted that the deadline can, as detailed within regulation, be further extended in certain circumstances.”
As the extended ‘deadline’ of 1 January 2015 could only be granted for “objective reasons” (reasons beyond the carriers control) Woodall said it is possible that EU States have further extended temporary ACC3 designations where they believe the necessary regulatory requirements have been met. Further extensions can be granted up to a maximum of five years, or until July 2017, if the regulator agrees to a roadmap with the carrier. This would involve setting the number of validations to be completed each year, with a minimum of five per cent each year with stations in ‘red-list’ countries would need to be validated first.
And while IATA is “unaware of any negative impacts” from the expiry of the temporary ACC3 accreditations, Woodall noted that even if a carrier failed to meet their obligations, “most EU/EEA Stares would adopt a graduated approach to non-compliance that would typically start with robust discussions concerning rectification action plans that included activity and milestone agreements.”