Keep to the rules
27 / 02 / 2015
TRADE and commerce require internationally-agreed rules and regulations if they are to flourish, and the same can be said for air cargo, writes Roger Hailey, Air Cargo News editor.
The suggestion that Russia is considering retaliatory security legislation aimed at the European air cargo industry raises the unhappy prospect of a non-tariff barrier of the worst kind.
Its implementation, and let’s hope that common sense prevails, would mean a pointless duplication of existing security rules and a terrible waste of administrative resources.
Moscow was unhappy at being left off the European Union’s “green list” of non-member states whose existing air cargo security measures were deemed sufficiently tight to avoid certification by EU-approved inspectors.
Subsequent tragic events in Ukraine, with the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet, have heightened the political tension between Europe and Russia.
Unilateral legislation, without prior discussion and agreement at international level, is never to be encouraged. It is often a knee-jerk reaction that creates problems rather than solving them.
Legislators in Brussels are not blameless, in that they misjudged the Russian reaction. Russia is an important energy partner with Europe and its skies also serve as flight corridors to Asia. Moscow has important levers to pull.
Those lawmakers should learn a practical lesson and understand that full engagement with neighbouring non-member state countries is essential, however frustrating it may be.
We all hope that a reasonable compromise can be fashioned between Russia and the EU, so that European air cargo does not suffer a further setback when it lacks the economic elasticity to bounce back quickly.
It would be better all round if air cargo was not treated like a political football.