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All cargo which is to be carried on either a domestic or international flight originating in the UK and Ireland is subjected to security controls similar to those for passengers, with the aim of preventing a prohibited article such as an incendiary or explosive device being placed on an aircraft. This is in accordance with security legislation.

This means that all airfreight consignments must either originate from an accredited known consignor or be screened before being loaded onto an aircraft. The screening process will involve a number of different techniques, which can be carried by Davies Turner, as a Regulated Agent. Once screened, cargo must be stored and transported in secure conditions until it is placed on an aircraft. Unscreened cargo is termed 'unknown' cargo, while screened, protected cargo, is considered “SPX or SCO cargo”, depending on whether it is allowed to travel on any aircraft or cargo only aircraft.

All exporters may voluntarily become a “Known Consignor”. The benefit is a reduction in the checking required to be carried out by Davies Turner and the airline carrying your freight. This will reduce the cost per shipment as well as the delays associated with certain screening techniques, which may be required under the regulations. Becoming a known consignor is of particular benefit if your shipments are particularly large, dense, or you export by air on a regular basis.

However, this is not a suitable route for all exporters as there is an annual cost for validation per exporting site. There is also the cost of meeting the security requirements including changes to your security systems and ongoing training requirements. In addition, there is the liability to consider, if shipper security systems failed.

To become a known consignor your business needs to be accredited by an approved “Validator”. Once accredited, your consignments (subject to controls) can be treated as SPX (known) cargo and not ordinarily subject to other security vetting before being loaded onto the aircraft.

Alternatively, you can remain an unknown consignor. Your cargo must be treated as unknown and will require screening.

For further information on becoming a Known Consignor, contact your local Air Cargo & Express office who will advise if this is suitable for your company. Davies Turner is also able to offer a cost effective and proven consultancy and training services to assist you in becoming a Known Consignor.

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