How to move goods by air

Security for airfreight


If you're exporting consignments by airfreight, your forwarder or small-parcels operator will need to comply with government-regulated security requirements. Security measures in the UK are regulated by the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990. This means that all airfreight consignments must either be screened or originate from a Department for Transport (DfT) accredited known consignor before being loaded onto an aircraft.

You should ask your freight forwarder how much extra time to factor into your delivery promises to allow for security procedures at airports.

To become a known shipper your business needs to be accredited by an inspector approved by the DfT. Once accredited, your consignments (subject to controls) can be treated as known cargo and not ordinarily subject to other security vetting before being loaded onto the aircraft. The known shipper regime isn't mandatory.

Alternatively, you can remain an unknown shipper. Your cargo must be treated as unknown and will be screened either by a regulated agent (freight forwarder) or the airline in question before being loaded.

Find information about how to become a known consignor.

The DfT issues a consignment security certificate to known consignors following training.