Fears are growing that Asia’s biggest international cargo airport could be subject to major congestion next week when new security regulations are introduced.
From July 15, shippers using Hong Kong International Airport will need to full comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Annex 17 security regime. Cargo not already compliant under the new known-shipper system must be X-rayed or searched before departure.
Yet the number of companies that have been cleared as known shippers or regulated agents under the new ICAO rules has fallen short of targets, fueling fears that scanning and search backlogs could develop starting July 15, according to Paul Tsui, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics.
He said forwarders were reporting great difficulty getting consignors to comply with the change in regulations.
“If they don’t act soon, we could have a lot of shippers affected by the new regime, which will mean their freight needs scanning and could cause congestion,” he added. “They need to sign the declaration of compliance before the 15th.”
Sunny Ho, chief executive of the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, said Hong Kong’s civil aviation department and the freight industry were working hard to avert a cargo bottleneck post-July 15.
“Most freight forwarders have got themselves ready, but they are concerned about shippers,” he said. “I’m not anticipating major problems, but they do need to be fully compliant very soon. Consignors should complete the new declaration forms urgently.”
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