Ruediger Suhrke is extremely busy. Currently more than twenty shippers stand in line asking for his AviaConcil's professional advice. They all are suddenly eager to become ‘known consignors’ as the deadline March 25, 2013 for getting licensed by the LBA is coming closer each day. But what most exporters aren’t aware of are the many hurdles they have to overcome before getting the regulator’s final okay. That’s why mediators like Suhrke’s AviaConcil are increasingly coming into the game, navigating the applicants through the cluttered bureaucratic jungle. “We give clients a comprehensive check-list on hand that we work off point by point. The package comprises physical inspections of the producer’s premises by AviaConcil experts to review the security requirements, an analysis of the air freight volumes, followed by an overlook of the contents and structures of the shipments.
Basically, these checks can lead to two results: applying for becoming ‘known consignor’ pays off for some shippers, but for some others it’s wasted time and money.
Says Ruediger: "In case our study reveals that it would be worth for the exporter to file an application than we mutually start knitting a security architectural framework tailored to each individual customer. This consists of a security program, training concept for the staff, and support during the main audit process executed by the regulator LBA."
The duration of the entire exercise depends on the size of the enterprise and the steps the applicant has initiated for fulfilling the security requirements demanded by the regulator. All in all, the entire project can last between three to six months, under the condition that the facilities are fenced and built according to valid security standards.
However, it is essential that ‘known consignor’ applicants do their utmost and collaborate in the closest possible way with their consultant during the entire process, Herr Suhrke emphasizes. "Interestingly, an increasing number of shippers are becoming aware that time is running out and they'd better apply fast for getting licensed as 'known consigner'. This accounts for ship spare providers, exporters of machinery parts, tobacco companies, pharmaceutical producers, and members of the automotive industry. This broad industrial specter and the rapidly growing number of applicants for our security consulting services explain why my working day often ends not before midnight,” Ruediger states.
With new laws and regulations coming into effect the number of security providers in Germany is popping up like mushrooms. This has established an entire new business nobody had realistically anticipated some years ago. Especially in Germany the security service industry is booming currently because of the deadline on 25 March next year. Commencing that day each single air freight shipment coming from an unknown and unlicensed shipper is unsecure according to official definition and has to be x-rayed, controlled by explosive detectors or physically hand searched before being loaded on board an aircraft.Aviation experts predict huge jams of cargo volumes after this deadline has elapsed since only a small minority of shippers has applied for being licensed so far. According to latest LBA figures only 643 exporters as of November1, out of a total of nearly 60,000 shippers have been certified up to now.