ICAO and WCO seek closer cargo collaboration


ICAO and the World Customs Organisation have issued a joint communiqué on air cargo security, calling for more cooperation between aviation and customs organisations, as well as other stakeholders.

The two trade bodies have been working more closely together since a plot, originating in Yemen, in 2010 that saw terrorists try and hide explosives in computer cartridges. ICAO and the WCO signed a memorandum of understanding a year ago to increase cooperation, and the Singapore summit was a follow-up on that.

“Such collaboration is important because supply chain issues relate to both security and customs procedures. The requirements of aviation security and Customs need to be considered at the same time,” said ICAO secretary general Raymond Benjamin.

Collaboration will lead to “synergies” that will help streamline cargo processes, Benjamin said, adding that ICAO will be promoting a risk-based strategy of targeting cargo deemed to be high risk – and providing a smoother movement of low-risk cargo. “There is no such thing as 100% security,” said Benjamin.

Support of a risk-based approach was one of the recommendations of the communiqué, which focussed on increased collaboration between the two groups and other bodies, including maritime and postal services. ICAO is also looking at offering training for customs officials on its training programmes.

The communiqué also “encourages” close coordination between national authorities responsible for aviation security and customs. ICAO is holding a high-level aviation security conference in mid-September, and Benjamin pointed out that a number of ministers from various countries will be attending this.


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