Aviation security for cargo

Measures in place to ensure cargo can fly to and from the UK without disruption.

Air cargo between the UK and the EU

There is no change to security arrangements in respect of air cargo movements. The EU and UK mutually recognise their respective air cargo security standards, meaning that air cargo continues to be carried between the UK and the EU, as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, without the need for the air carrier to hold either an EU or UK ACC3 designation.

While air cargo arrangements, in practice, remain the same as prior to 1 January 2021, air cargo shipments transported by road from the UK to the EU, such as on ‘flight trucks’, may no longer be accepted as secure and may, therefore, have to be re-screened prior to onward flight.

There are separate arrangements for air cargo transported by road between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, whereby shipments may still be accepted as secure and therefore not require further screening.

Air cargo inbound to the UK from the rest of the world

To minimise disruption to existing air cargo and mail operations, the UK’s new inbound air cargo security regime (UK ACC3), applicable to cargo entering the UK with effect from 1 January 2021, mirrors the European Union’s (EU) regime (EU ACC3) in regulatory scope and operation.

Air carriers flying cargo into the UK from certain non-EU countries will require a UK ACC3 designation.

The UK will maintain the same list of ACC3-exempt (‘green’) countries as existed prior to 1 January 2021 under the EU ACC3 regime, where a UK ACC3 designation will not be required.

EU ACC3 designations issued prior to 1 January 2021 are recognised by the EU and the UK until they expire.

Details on the arrangements in place, including how to apply for a UK designation, can be obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Regulations and standards

Existing aviation security regulations and procedures have been incorporated into UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the Single Consolidated Direction (Aviation) 1/2021.

Published 31 December 2020
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