Domestic Screening - FAQs

Enhanced domestic screening measures commence on 1 July 2020 in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. 

What are the changes and when will they apply?

From 1 July 2020, additional security measures are being introduced for domestic air freight originating at the five major ports - Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. All domestic freight being lodged at these five ports not originating from a Known Consignor (KC) or a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA) must be screened at piece level (box, carton, pallet or another deconsolidated form of freight) at the terminal prior to uplift. 

Will screening change the way I lodge my freight?

If you are a Known Consignor (KC) or a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA), you’ll need to lodge your freight with a Consignment Security Declaration (CSD). For customers that need their freight screened at the terminal, freight will need to be presented at piece level and lodged at least 15 minutes earlier than pre-screened freight. Lodgement cut-off times at the five ports will be amended accordingly. 

What fees are associated with screening at the terminal?   

Fees can be found here and will be included in the quote or booking made online for non-account customers. Account customers will have screening fees added to their AWB charges.  

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Why is the screening fee not related to weight? 

Our fees are based on the expected number of pieces being presented for terminal screening and reflect the additional operational requirements to manage these extra security measures. Fees for piece-level screening vary slightly depending on shipment and can be found here.

How will screening fees be collected? 

For non-account customers, screening fees are included in any freight quotes or bookings made online. Any account customers who need to have freight screened at the terminal will have the screening fee added to their AWB charges. 


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Why are lodgement times changing for non-screened freight? 

Freight which has not been pre-screened will need to go through additional security measures at the terminal before it can be cleared for uplift. An extra 15 minutes has been added to lodgement cut-off times for any freight requiring screening to accommodate the extra security steps.  

I need to have my goods screened at the terminal. How should I present my freight? 

All unscreened freight needs to be presented at a piece level (box, carton, pallet or another deconsolidated form of freight) unless homogeneous. Any consolidated shipments will not be accepted for lodgement as they need to be loose for screening purposes. Please also note the following requirements:  

  • Homogenous goods need to be loaded on pallets (where equipment available)  
  • Loose boxes need to be individually labelled for ease of identification   
  • Perishables need to be packed without any metal components which will interfere with screening    

Internal explosive trace detection (ETD) may be required, in which case we’ll need you on site to assist with access.  

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I don't want to use a RACA and I'm not a KC. What will I need to do? 

If you don’t want to manage your freight shipment through a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA) and you’re not a Known Consignor (KC), your shipment will need to be screened at the terminal. Freight will need to be presented at a piece level (box, carton, pallet or another deconsolidated form of freight) to facilitate screening. Any consolidated freight other than homogeneous shipments will not be accepted for screening.

We plan to lodge shipper-loaded units. Is there a process for screening at the terminal? 

Our terminals will not be able to break down shipper-loaded units for piece-level screening, so all shipper-loaded units must be pre-screened and lodged with a valid Consignment Security Declaration (CSD) to be accepted for uplift.   

My shipment cannot go through the x-ray. What are the steps for screening in this instance? 

Qantas Freight complies with all regulatory requirements in relation to screening. If a shipment cannot be screened via x-ray or metal detector, an internal Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) will be required. For large single-piece items, a physical inspection and external ETD may be sufficient depending on applicable regulations.

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What is recommended for the shipment and examination for pharmaceutical products?   

Special handling items such as pharmaceutical products should be presented as pre-screened. Given the nature of the goods being shipped, pharmaceutical companies may qualify for the Known Consignor (KC) program due to their existing strong security framework.  

Are there any exemptions for domestic screening? 

Some exemptions apply due to the nature of the goods being shipped. For instance, live animals and certain biological specimens cannot be screened and will be manually checked in line with the new domestic regulations.

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What information is required for a Consignment Security Declaration (CSD)?

A CSD includes consignment details such as commodity, origin, destination as well as screening method used or the reasons for an exemption (if applicable). The Aviation Transport Regulations which provides more information on CSDs can be found here.

What are the weight and size limits for screening at the terminal?

Our x-ray facilities are able to screen individual or homogenous pieces up to 90cm x 90cm and up to 220kg per piece. Weight needs to be evenly distributed. Oversized cargo or cargo that is too dense for an x-ray will need have a manual internal Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) test. A customer representative needs to be on site for ETD tests. Due to operational and safety requirements the ability to complete an ETD varies across facilities and time of day. Please contact you local terminal to see if this service is available.

Do requirements differ if my freight is booked on a freighter or in the belly space of a passenger flight? 

No. All domestic freight departing from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney will be subject to the same requirements irrespective of whether booked on a freighter or passenger aircraft. 

What is happening at other domestic ports?   

The Australian Government has announced that it is expected other domestic ports will need to have these additional security measures in place by mid-2021. We will continue to work with the regulatory authorities to ensure we comply with all requirements.

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If my freight needs to be screened at the airport, how will I know if the freight has been cleared for uplift?

Our terminal teams will contact any customer who has freight that fails the screening tests to arrange for pick up.

What options are there to have my freight screened prior to arrival at the terminal?

You can use a government-approved Registered Air Cargo Agent who can pre-screen and lodge your freight for you. 

What do I need to include on my AWB if my shipment contains multiple pieces but the goods are all homogeneous allowing me to present together for screening?

All AWBs must have an accurate piece count.  

My freight is being trans-shipped through one of the ports requiring screening. Will it need to be screened at the transit port?

No, only freight originating in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney will need to be screened. Other ports will implement screening at a later date.

I have questions about the changes. Who should I contact?

We recommend you contact the Department of Home Affairs via email on or visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more details. 

Can I lodge exempt and non-exempt cargo on a single AWB? 

No, exempt & non-exempt cargo must be lodged on separate AWB’s. This is in line with screening regulation and will also ensure accurate charging by Qantas Freight.

I am sending my pet in an approved pet travel crate. Will my pet need to be screened?

 No, any animal or pet that is easily identified and clearly visible will be exempt from screening as per regulatory requirements.

My live animal shipment will be packed in a sealed container. What do I need to do to comply with regulations?

Any live animal shipments such as lobsters, reptiles and fish which need to be shipped in sealed containers must be screened. Pre-screening can be arranged via a RACA who will present the shipment on your behalf with a CSD. If you would prefer to lodge your goods without pre-screening, your shipment will undergo x-ray screening at the terminal. Alternatively you can explore becoming a Known Consignor to lodge secure cargo yourself.

I'm a RACA and I want to add the CSD to an existing booking, can I do that?

Yes, you can add CSD information in new bookings or in existing bookings. Please refer to the user guide for more information.