New safety rules for the transport of goods by road, rail and ship have been unveiled, intended as protection against terrorist attacks in the European Union. Governments would assign “secure operator” status to shippers, trucking companies and storage facilities that meet a set of minimum security requirements.
A European Commission spokesman gave details about the proposal:
“How do you get such secure operator status? You need, as a company, to have a security management system, need to have resources allocated to prevention of security risks and security breaches and you need to comply with a number of minumum requirements which are detailed in the regulation which concern physical security of premises and buildings, access control, personnel security, procedural security in matters related to cargo.”
The measures are to address concern that cargo might be used to conceal terrorist devices which could be carried into populated areas for instance. Approved firms would benefit from less scrutiny at border controls and sea- and airports. It is a voluntary scheme yet clearly those who follow it would distinguish themselves from those in the transport market who do not. The rules require approval by the European Parliament and member states before they can enter into force.