E-Commerce growth creates compliance challenge for global mail parcels

Miami, USA, Thursday 10th April 2014 – Mail parcel volumes, growing because of e-commerce, are creating further challenges for pending Advance Data Filing regulations, Douglas Brittin Secretary General, TIACA, advised a meeting of postal organizations last week.

The new regulations would require individual shipment information to be submitted to destination regulatory agencies in advance of transportation, rather than the current Customs’ requirement for information prior to arrival at the port of entry.

The air cargo industry and Postal Operators need to continue working closely with Customs and Civil Aviation Security regulators to ensure new data submission regulations and screening protocols are standardized and workable, Brittin told delegates at the Universal Postal Union (UPU)’s Postal Security Group meeting in Bern, Switzerland.

“With mail parcels, we are potentially dealing with a different type of shipper, and we are looking at significant and growing volumes,” he said.

This may lead to a high percentage of shipments designated for additional security screening, he added.

Operationally, the challenge would be identifying where the individual parcels are located if the information is not processed by regulators quickly and efficiently.

“Postal Operators face their own challenges when it comes to screening,” said Brittin.

“A shipment may be only one piece in a Unit Load Device (ULD), but may be required to be found, off-loaded and screened.

“We need to work to ensure standardization of the data elements themselves, as well as security screening protocols, which now vary significantly.”

Advance Data programs, such as the USA’s ACAS, the European Union’s PRECISE and Canada’s PACT programs, will be on the agenda at TIACA’s AGM and Executive Summit at the Ritz-Carlton in Istanbul, Turkey on April 24th and 25th.

A panel of experts will debate the issues at a workshop session, looking at the impact of new regulations on shippers, forwarders, postal operators, and carriers.

Representatives from Delta Air Lines, KLM Cargo, France’s Le Group La Poste, American Airlines, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), UPS, the World Customs Organization (WCO), DHL, and the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will join the discussion, among others.

Over 20 leading industry speakers will join sessions over the two day event covering topics from Customs and e-commerce to the cargo brain drain and e-freight.

TIACA is working with Customs and security regulators towards ensuring data elements for cargo and mail, analysis and messaging procedures, and screening and response protocols are all standard, and screening regulations are not premature. TIACA is also encouraging the establishment of these standards through organizations such as ICAO, WCO and UPU.

As part of ongoing discussion, TIACA will be supporting further discussions on the topic at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-WCO joint conference on enhancing air cargo security and facilitation in Bahrain next week.