Accredited air cargo agent scheme

The accredited air cargo agent (AACA) scheme is for businesses that handle, or make arrangements for the transport of air cargo.

As an AACA, you must:

  • comply with an AACA Security Program provided by the Department , under the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 (the Regulations)
  • security check and protect the security of air cargo from the moment you receive an item until it leaves your possession
  • provide security awareness training to your employees that meets specific learning outcomes specified by the Department, and
  • be subject to periodic compliance checks by the Department.

Eligibility to become an AACA

To become an AACA, your business operations must be involved in handling, or making arrangements for the secure transport of export air cargo and be a current registered Australian business. Your business must not include the examination or clearance of cargo. If you are a business that wants to examine or clear cargo that will be carried on board an aircraft, you may want to apply to become a regulated air cargo agent (RACA).

Applying to become an AACA

Complete an AACA application , there is no charge for applying.

If you have any queries about how to complete the form, refer to A guide for new AACA application (554KB PDF).

If you still have questions, you can contact the Guidance Centre by email at GuidanceCentre@homeaffairs.gov.au or by phone on 1300 791 581.

Once completed, submit your application form by:

Email: aaca@homeaffairs.gov.au

Mail:
Department of Home Affairs
Air Cargo Security Branch
Aviation and Maritime Security Division
PO Box 25
Belconnen, ACT 2616

The Department will assess whether your business meets the criteria to become an AACA. If your application is accepted, you will receive an AACA Security Program that you are required to comply with under the Regulations. Your accreditation as an AACA remains current for a period of one to five years. The duration of your accreditation is determined by the Department based on the security risk context for your business. The Department will notify you of the period of your AACA accreditation when you are issued with your AACA Security Program.

There are financial penalties for not complying with your AACA Security Program, as determined by legislation.

Note: Once approved, AACAs details are published and made publicly available on the Department's website.

Renewing AACA accreditation

To renew your AACA accreditation, complete the Application to renew accreditation form (447KB DOCX).

A guide for an application to renew accreditation (488KB PDF) is also available.

There is no charge to renew your AACA accreditation.

Submit your renewal of accreditation application form by:

Email: aaca@homeaffairs.gov.au

Mail:
Department of Home Affairs
Air Cargo Security Taskforce
PO Box 25
Belconnen, ACT 2616

You can apply for renewal within the last 12 months of your AACA accreditation. If you submit a complete renewal application prior to your accreditation expiry, your accreditation will continue until a decision is made on your renewal.

AACA notification requirements

As an AACA, you must:

  • notify the Department of a change of details or security measures, within seven days; and
  • contact the Department annually, in writing to confirm your business' operational information. Information about the details required for this can be found in the AACA Security Program Guidance that accompanies the AACA Security Program.

AACAs must provide this information, accompanied by relevant supporting documentation, to the Office of Transport Security at aaca@homeaffairs.gov.au.

AACA security awareness training

AACAs are required to ensure that all relevant staff complete some form of security awareness training. The Department provides an online eLearning module to AACAs at no cost to assist in meeting this obligation.

Should a business elect not to use the Departments module, they may provide their own training to staff, provided it meets the Department's specified learning outcomes. For this to happen, AACAs would first need to apply to vary their Security Program and have this alternate training approved by the Department.

AACA cargo security documentation

As an AACA, you are required to ensure that cargo in your care is verified and kept secure until it reaches its destination. Additionally, if your business establishes and maintains a regular customer list, you may also need to be able to verify that particular cargo comes from a regular customer.

Below are suggested templates that you may use for this purpose.

AACA list

Under the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005, the details of AACAs are published and made publicly available on the Department's website. These details include the legal entity and trading names for the business, as well as the Australian Business Number or Australian Company Number or Australian Registered Business Number.

While every effort has been made to ensure details within the AACA list are correct and current there may be some discrepancies. Any discrepancies should be reported to the Department at aaca@homeaffairs.gov.au.

If you are an AACA you are required to notify the Department of any change of circumstance, in writing, within seven days.

Frequently asked questions

For further information on the AACA scheme, refer to the frequently asked questions.