Aviation security for passengers and cargo if there’s no Brexit deal

How possible changes to aviation security would affect businesses and passengers if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal.

Aviation security regimes

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 (may also apply to new exit date on 31 December 2020) without an agreement in place on aviation security, the existing aviation security regulations and procedures will be retained in domestic law under the EU Withdrawal Act. This will ensure that the UK continues to have a robust aviation security system no matter what our future relationship with the EU is.

The EU has stated in its:

that it intends to recognise the UK aviation security regime and include it in the One Stop Security system for passengers and cargo. This recognises the continued high security standards applied by the UK.

Passenger security

The security screening requirements for all direct passenger flights to and from the UK will remain as they are today.

The EU has stated that it will recognise UK passenger and baggage screening. This means that passengers flying from the UK will continue to be able to transfer at an EU airport for an onward flight without experiencing additional security rescreening procedures.

Cargo security

Cargo from the EU to the UK

The UK intends to recognise EU cargo security from the outset, and will not require new cargo security designations for carriers from EU airports. This recognises that security standards are already aligned and equivalent. It will minimise disruption to the European and global cargo networks.

Cargo from the UK to the EU

The EU has stated that it intends to recognise the UK cargo security regime as equivalent and allow cargo to continue to fly into the EU. This means that cargo can fly from the UK to the EU without a security designation.

Cargo from the rest of the world into the UK

The EU’s ‘ACC3’ inbound cargo regime requires that carriers flying cargo into the EU, including the UK currently, must hold a security designation. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK would not be part of the EU ACC3 scheme.

We are taking steps to ensure that there will not be a reduction in our control over our security standards. To this end, the UK will operate a separate UK-only inbound cargo regime, which will mirror the EU scheme.

To ensure that we do not put any barriers in place to international trade, we intend to grant UK-ACC3 designations immediately following EU Exit. These UK-ACC3 designations will mirror all existing EU ACC3 designations for cargo flying into the UK from third (non-EU) countries. This will permit all cargo currently flown to the UK from third countries to continue while maintaining existing inbound aviation security standards.

Stay informed

Some of these requirements may change depending on the terms that the UK leaves the EU. Bookmark and revisit this web page or sign up for email alerts to stay up to date.

More about possible aviation changes

See also

This guidance expands on the aviation security technical notice published in September 2018.

Published 24 September 2018
Last updated 14 February 2019 

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