Air carriers are required to be designated as an ‘Air Cargo or Mail Carrier operating into the Union from a Third Country Airport’ (ACC3) for each non-EU airport from which they fly cargo or mail into the EU. The ACC3 requirements are waived for cargo and mail operations from origins with robust aviation security measures and with an established low risk, as identified through an EU Risk Assessment.

To obtain the ACC3 status an air carrier has to deliver a ‘Declaration of Commitments’ concerning the fulfillment of its aviation security responsibilities to the civil aviation authorities of an EU Member State for every non-EU airport from which it flies cargo or mail into the EU. The template for the ‘Declaration of Commitments’ is laid down by EU law. Air carriers are also required to nominate a person with responsibility for the implementation of cargo and mail requirements.

As of 1 July 2014, the EU requires that ACC3s ensure that an EU aviation security validation of its cargo and mail operations at the relevant non-EU airport(s) has been carried out by an EU aviation security validator. The EU aviation security validator will examine the air carrier’s security programme to ensure its relevance and completeness and will assess the implementation of aviation security measures during an on-site verification of the cargo and mail operations of that air carrier in non-EU countries.

ACC3s must ensure that all cargo and mail carried to the EU is physically screened or comes from a secure supply chain which is EU aviation security validated. Also from 1 July 2014, screening needs to take place according to EU standards.

If the air carrier does not comply with these requirements, it will not be designated as ACC3 by the appropriate authority of an EU Member State and will subsequently not be allowed to fly cargo and mail into the EU from a non-EU airport. The designation is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

Actions to take

In order for air carriers to be able to comply with the EU requirements that apply as of 1 July 2014, they are recommended to take the following actions.

1. Contact the appropriate authority of the Member
State that is responsible for your designation

EU air carriers should contact the appropriate authority of the Member State that issued their Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). Non-EU carriers can locate the responsible appropriate authority by making use of the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 394/2011 , in which air carriers are assigned to one specific Member State.  Non-EU carriers which are not included in this list are advised to contact the appropriate authority of the Member State where they have their major base of operations.

2. Familiarize yourself with the EU requirements

The appropriate authority of the Member State that is responsible for your designation is required to provide you with all necessary EU aviation security requirements, including non-public information. The appropriate authority will also inform you whether you need to apply additional security measures for certain non-EU locations you fly from or whether the ACC3 requirements are waived for certain non-EU locations you fly from.

The basic security requirements for cargo and mail from non-EU countries may be found in the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 1082/2012 . Attachment 6C-3 contains the checklist which EU aviation security validators will use during the on-site verification.

3. Where necessary, update your business operations
at non-EU locations to comply with the requirements

Depending on your business and your current security measures, you may need to update your security programme in respect of the cargo and mail operations from each individual non-EU airport, implement the necessary security requirements, establish a secure supply chain or provide for the necessary screening equipment.

4. Investigate which of the provided designation
options suits your business operations best

The EU regulations provide two different ACC3 designation options for air carriers and two designation options for their business partners. The system provides flexibility to the entities involved to choose the option which suits their business operations best.

In option 1, an on-site verification at a non-EU airport is necessary before designation is granted for that specific airport. In option 2, air carriers which operate several relevant cargo or mail operations and which apply an internal security quality assurance programme that is equivalent to EU aviation security validation may request on-site validations at a representative number of airports. Further conditions apply and need to be discussed with the appropriate authority of the Member State responsible for your ACC3 designations.

Entities from which you receive cargo or mail may either be validated as part of your on-site verification or may submit their relevant cargo handling entities to validation by an EU aviation security validator themselves. In the second case, you must ask for the validation report as proof of the successful validation. In both cases, the entity must be entered in your database with all relevant information in order to establish a secure supply chain link.

5. Contact an EU aviation security validator to carry out the necessary validations

EU aviation security validations may only be carried out by EU aviation security validators approved by EU Member States. These may be private entities or individuals and are listed in an EU database . More validators will be approved in the coming months. The appropriate authorities of EU Member States may undertake EU aviation security validations through their own staff or empowered agencies.

While every air carrier (and cargo handling entity) remains responsible for achieving EU aviation security validation in time before the deadline of 1 July 2014, it is advised to contact the appropriate authority responsible for your designation for further details concerning the validations, in particular if due to a large number of airports you are interested in benefiting from the second ACC3 designation option as described under point 4.

All necessary validations, including on-site visits, need to be completed before 1 July 2014 in order for air carriers to obtain or maintain the ACC3 status and thus carry cargo or mail into the EU.

This information is taken from
http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/security/cargo-mail/air-carriers_en.htm