Special screening method for air cargo now prohibited


German Federal Aviation Authority prohibits method at German airports.

Since July 1 2019, the special screening method that previously used explosive trace detectors (ETD devices/sniffer) on the outside of a shipment is now prohibited at all German airports. This decision was made by the German Federal Aviation Authority in January 2019 on the grounds that the special screening method does not comply with the requirements of the relevant EU regulation.

Up to July the special screening method was used for air freight which could not be be properly controlled with the usual procedures and triggered a dark alarm when being x-rayed. For example, substances and liquids with high density such as chemicals and lubricants packed in sacks, drums or containers were affected. By executing the special screening methods, the "secure" transport of these goods was approved and a shipment by air freight was authorized.

The elimination of this screening method will have a major impact on the supply chain of the affected companies.

Which alternatives exist to make these shipments "secure" again for air freight?
According to the German Federal Aviation Authority, "admittance as a known consignor and shipment handling via the secure supply chain is considered the most reliable measure to avoid shipments being rejected due to lack of controls and being excluded from transport".

As a known consignor a shipment is considered "automatically" to be secure and can therefore be transported by air. Information on the approval process as a known consignor can be found on the website of the German Federal Aviation Authority.

The German Federal Aviation Authority has listed further measures as a solution, but there is no guarantee of success:
- Shipping in smaller containers that can be inspected and penetrated with X-ray inspection equipment.
- Shipment in transparent packaging provided that all parts of the shipment can actually be seen.
- The shipment will be inspected before packaging.

Another alternative would of course be to ship these goods by oceanfreight.

Do you ship goods that were previously made air cargo-secure using the special screening method using explosive trace detectors (ETD devices/sniffer)?
Our staff will be happy to consult you in avoiding rejection of your shipment and/or exclusion from airfreight service. We will help to ensure your supply chain is not being interrupted.

Do you have any questions about the elimination of the special screening method in Germany? Our air freight security officer will be happy to help you.