U-Freight well-placed for stricter air cargo security screening
Jan 7, 2020: With the phased implementation of 100 percent air cargo security screening having now started, the U-Freight Group is prepared to assist shippers having become one of the first freight forwarders to have one of its logistics hubs in Hong Kong certified by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) as a Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facility (RACSF).
The enhancement of international standards on air cargo security announced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) commenced on January 1, 2020 and will be implemented in phases to achieve 100 percent screening by June 30, 2021.
To complement the anticipated gradual increase in screening demand, Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department (CAD) developed the RACSF (Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facility) scheme to enable and regulate air cargo screening at off-airport locations.
In Hong Kong, a transitional arrangement has been set up which will mean that all RACSFs are required to gradually increase the percentage of air cargo being screened.
From January to April 2020, 25 percent of cargoes (by weight) are required to be screened; increasing to 40 percent in phase two from May to August 2020; 70 percent in phase three from September 2020 to February 2021; and 100 percent in phase 4 from March to June 30th 2021 (the ICAO deadline).
Over two years ago, the U-Freight Group installed an X-ray machine at its Golden Bear Industrial Centre in Hong Kong, giving staff adequate time to gain experience in the scanning process, as well as helping to identify prohibited/suspect products inside the ever-increasing number of e-commerce parcels it handles.
A second enhanced X-ray machine was installed in July 2019, which can scan consignments up to pallet size. The company modified its export operations warehouse to accommodate the existing X-ray machine, as well as the newly purchased one.
Simon Wong, UFL’s chief executive officer said, “The U-Freight Group fully supports the ICAO aviation security requirements and has worked closely with CAD, Hong Kong Airport Authority, Cargo Terminal Operator and HAFFA in making the necessary preparations to make sure that we enhance our air cargo security regime to meet the new international aviation security requirements.
"The establishment of off-airport screening facilities in Hong Kong 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.
“We were very keen to capitalise on this opportunity, and were very pleased to have become one of the first freight forwarders and logistics companies to have been accredited by CAD, and are now fully prepared to play our part in the new ICAO regime."