Known consignor scheme

Businesses that use international best-practice security measures to prevent unlawful acts against aviation can apply to join the Known consignor scheme.

A known consignor is responsible for securing air cargo that originates from their business until the air cargo is provided to another regulated business.

The Known consignor scheme offers exporters an alternative way to meet US air cargo security requirements, rather than arranging for an approved business to conduct enhanced air cargo examination on their behalf.

Known consignors need to meet and maintain a high level of security to ensure cargo is safe to load on to an aircraft.

The Known consignor scheme is one of several significant reforms introduced by the Australian Government to help streamline the way goods are cleared through our borders.


Requirements for known consignors

The Known consignor scheme requirements are based on international best practice. Known consignors must demonstrate that they have security measures and procedures in place and can secure their export air cargo from where it originates, until it is handed to another regulated business.

The security measures required under the Known consignor scheme will depend on each individual business. This reflects the fact that exporters operate in a wide variety of environments.

Security measures include:

  • physical access controls and facility security measures
  • information security measures
  • secure packing, handling and storage of air cargo
  • secure transportation of air cargo
  • security awareness training
  • background checking of employees to ensure they are of suitable character, including a requirement for staff in key roles to hold an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC)
  • quality control procedures in place to monitor and manage compliance, and
  • incident response and reporting procedures.

Applying to join the Known consignor scheme

Entry into the Known consignor scheme is by application, validation (an on-site inspection), and approval by the Department of Home Affairs (the Department).

To begin an application, submit an expression of interest.

Businesses need to fully complete the application form and provide any supporting documentation to demonstrate that they can meet the security requirements.

If the completed application form meets requirements, an on-site validation will be conducted by the Department to ensure that the applicant has appropriate security measures in place, and can comply with their obligations.

Alternatives to the Known consignor scheme

If you export cargo by air to the US you should discuss with your freight forwarder whether they are approved, or will seek approval, to examine air cargo at piece-level. You should also discuss whether or not the goods you export are capable of piece-level examination by the methods used by your freight forwarder.

If your freight forwarder is unable to offer piece-level examination, and you do not wish to join the Known consignor scheme, your cargo will need to be deconsolidated and screened at the airport before being accepted for uplift to the US. The capacity of cargo terminal operators to undertake this screening is not yet known and delays can be expected.

Cargo that originates from known consignors does not require further examination before uplift to the US.

Known consignor list

Under the Aviation Transport Security Regulation 2005, the Department has the authority to publish a list of approved known consignors. While every effort has been made to ensure details within the known consignor list are correct and current, there may be some discrepancies. Known consignors must notify the Department of a change of circumstance, in writing, within seven days.

Need more information?

Visit the Known consignor frequently asked questions page.