How will the Air Cargo security measures affect my air freight shipments?

By 1 March 2019, all air cargo being transported overseas from Australia will need to be examined at piece-level (box, carton, other similar item) or originate from a Known Consigner. These measures are designed to strengthen Australia’s aviation security requirements.

These requirements have been in place for air cargo exports to the United States since July 2017, and are now being expanded to include all air cargo exports.

From 1 March, Australian-based exporters and freight forwarders will need to adopt security measures for the preparation of all overseas air cargo. Australian exporters have two options for meeting these requirements:

  1. Using an Australian Government-approved Regulated Air Cargo Agent who can examine your air cargo at piece-level. Piece-level means that every individual box, carton or any other items in a shipment must be thoroughly examined by technology, or physically inspected before it gets loaded onto an aircraft.
  2. Being approved as a Known Consignor, so you can secure air cargo originating from your business. This may help minimise potential delays and costs.

The Australian Government has developed a number information services to assist businesses with implementation. The Department of Home Affairs (the responsible agency) has information on the requirements on their website, and can be contacted at or on (+61) 1300 791 581.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has also developed a number of FAQs to assist agricultural exporters in particular.