New safety regulations for transporting drums by air in France

In 2024, new safety standards will apply to the air transport of drums and hermetically sealed containers weighing more than 25 liters - in France and across the European Union.
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Quick Tips for Logistics Professionals

  • A new regulation from French air authorities applies to the air transport of hermetically sealed drums and containers, meeting safety requirements set out at European level.
  • Exporters are required to become “Known Consignors” to the aviation authorities, from now until September 30, 2024.
  • A procedure that will enable them to save time, costs and security for their shipments.
    Follow the guide!

New security standards for drums and hermetically sealed containers over 25 liters have come into force, following the publication on December 8, 2023 of an interministerial order, issued by the DGAC (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile): To continue their shipments, exporters are asked to obtain “Known Consignor” status.

A European imperative for air freight safety

Air freight inspection and screening are essential to the security of airfreight shipments. Authorized methods include the use of X-ray controllers and RASCO dog teams. These checks are carried out by authorized forwarding agents or handling agents.

To combat the risks of terrorism and the presence of explosives on board aircraft, European regulations are evolving. This includes guaranteeing the absence of prohibited articles in hermetically sealed containers transported by air.

In France, the DSAC (Direction de la sureté de l’aviation civile) has anticipated these developments to ensure that air freight remains safe, reliable and in line with international standards. The new standards will gradually be extended throughout the European Union.

What liquid shipments are involved?

The new regulations apply to hermetically sealed containers of more than 25 liters, closed by a cap and transported by air.

Containers of less than 25 liters can continue to be inspected by X-ray, provided that the cargo does not come out opaque. In the case of hermetically sealed containers, approval from a known loader is also required.

To continue shipping smoothly, exporters will need to obtain “known shipper” status, or opt for another type of packaging.

In practice, exporters of drums used to transport liquids such as aromas and various chemicals must obtain “Known Consignor” approval.

What is a “Known Consignor” and how do I become one?

A “Known Consignor” is a shipper who sends freight or mail on his own account, and whose procedures comply to a sufficient degree with security rules and standards to allow this freight or mail to be transported by aircraft.

A well-known loader is a company approved by the aviation authorities. Approval, issued for a maximum period of 5 years, assumes that the company complies with strict safety measures to ensure that its cargoes do not contain any prohibited or dangerous items.
> Find out more about known consigor approval on the French Ministry of Ecology website (in French).

Advantages: Goods shipped by a “known shipper” enable faster pick-up and limit the need for extensive inspection steps at the airport.

Save time, reduce security costs and enhance safety

2024 calendar for loaders

Exporters are subject to the following schedule:

  • Before April 1, 2024: exporters wishing to ship hermetically sealed containers by air must register with the authorities.
  • From April 1, 2024, all air shipments of hermetically sealed containers over 25 liters must be notified by the DGAC of receipt of the questionnaire. Exporters must submit a questionnaire to the DGAC at least 30 days before the first cargo delivery in France, which is the subject of this notification of receipt.
  • From October 1, 2024: Only exporters registered as ” known shippers ” will be able to ship large drums.
Jean Christophe Euzière, expert fret aérien
As a specialist in air transport, particularly of aromas and perfumes from the Provence region, MATHEZ FREIGHT is authorized to store, handle and transport these secure loads by air. We inform and support our customers in the steps required to become a well-known shipper, and organize their shipments worldwide. Get in touch with us!
Jean Christophe Euziere, MATHEZ FREIGHT Nice
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