Air cargo and mail coming from non-EU countries
In October 2010, two improvised explosive devices (homemade bombs) were transported as air cargo consignments and were intercepted at airports in the Middle-East and Europe before they could do any harm. These incidents demonstrated the importance of aviation security measures in respect of cargo and mail and triggered the implementation of higher levels of security in respect of EU bound cargo and mail.
Until February 2012, air cargo and mail security requirements were only applicable for air cargo and mail being loaded onto aircraft at airports located in the EU. Since 1 February 2012, additional rules require air carriers carrying cargo and mail into the EU from non-EU airports to ensure security standards prior to loading. Since 1 July 2014, further rules apply. These rules are laid down in EU regulations . They apply to individual air carriers, not to foreign states.
Mutual recognition of the EU and U.S. air cargo security regime
Since 1 June 2012, the EU and the United States (U.S.) recognise each other's air cargo security regime, which positively affects the speed and efficiency of transatlantic cargo operations to the benefit of shippers and customers. Air carriers transporting cargo from EU airports to the U.S. no longer need to apply additional U.S. measures as they comply with the EU requirements. Also, cargo or mail shipments from the U.S. to the EU may transfer at EU airports to further destinations without additional controls. This recognition will substantially cut cargo operators' costs and save time.
Previously, air cargo flown into the U.S. had to be submitted to controls defined in security programmes issued by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This did not take into consideration the extensive controls already applied at EU airports and therefore duplicated controls.