Australia's airlifted fresh produce faces stricter inspections
AUSTRALIA's fresh produce sector is gearing up for changes to air cargo export regulations which came into effect on March 1
AUSTRALIA's fresh produce sector is gearing up for changes to air cargo export regulations which came into effect on March 1.
Starting from the beginning of the month, all international export air cargo from Australia must be inspected at piece-level by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA), or originate from a known consignor, and use technology like x-ray or be physically inspected.
The Department of Home Affairs says the changes are vital to bolster security, reported Netherlands Fresh Plaza.
'The Australian government's first priority is to keep Australians safe and secure,' a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said. 'Aviation is an enduring and attractive target for terrorists. The Department has a strong and comprehensive aviation security framework that is continually revised to ensure that we remain ahead of the evolving threat.'
The Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA) earlier warned the move impact the bottom lines of Australia's fresh produce industries and trigger 24-hour delays at air cargo terminals.
The Department of Home Affairs says it has given the industry plenty of notice and that it has pro-actively engaged with industry to foster readiness, including writing directly to exporters.
'Security examination of export air cargo is not new,' the spokesperson said. 'All export air cargo is already examined prior to uplift onto an aircraft. The requirements being introduced on March 1, 2019 have been in place for United States bound cargo since July 2017.
'If businesses have questions about how the change will impact their current arrangements, they should contact their supply chain in the first instance.'