Enabling compliance with new supply chain obligations

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Enabling compliance with new supply chain obligations

10 November 2021

Enabling compliance with new supply chain obligations

As part of Certis Security Australia’s ongoing partnership with the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), we have recently collaborated on an article in their industry magazine, Across Borders.

The FTA is Australia’s leading representative body of the international supply chain sector, bringing together importers, exporters, logistics service providers and industry groups.

Transportation and logistics are key industries for Certis. We need to be aware of changing environments, and the ways they impact the industry, to ensure our customers continue to receive the best service.

Earlier this year, the Australian Border Force introduced new obligations for customs depots and warehouses, focusing on individual access control and site security maintenance. When new obligations and requirements are introduced, it can be difficult for businesses to keep up with legislation and make the changes they demand, particularly when established systems can’t bridge the gap.

Steve McSweeney, National Business Development Director for Certis Security Australia, worked with FTA Director Paul Zalai to review the challenges of maintaining a smooth supply chain in a changing world, and the importance of integrated systems and practices. Their findings were the focus of the thought leadership article in Across Borders, which we are pleased to share with you below.


Compliance with new supply chain obligations

Steve McSweeney, National Business Development Director at Certis Security Australia

As with every industry, various stages of the supply chain are subject to industry legislation and regulation, often to ensure safety and security. It’s important for decision makers and business leaders across all levels to understand these regulations, and ensure they’re adhered to.

In July 2021, the Australian Border Force (ABF) shared new obligations for customs depot and warehouse licenses that aim to improve efficiencies, transparency, and security. While the updated obligations only specifically reference customs depots and warehouses, the changes impact the broader supply chain. These changes include:

  • Strengthen existing controls within the supply chain
  • Provide timings when notifying the ABF of particular matters
  • Additional controls on persons accessing customs licensed sites
  • Clear delineation of additional conditions as they relate to specific licence types
  • Alignment of compliance controls for licence holders with the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005
  • Alignment of compliance controls for licence holders with the Biosecurity Act 2015

A key point in these new obligations is the increase in controls around individual access, which may seem simple. However, access control can be a complex and time-consuming task, particularly on busy sites. While it’s important for every customs depot or warehouse to be across the obligations, and adhere to them, they don’t have to manage them on their own. In fact, investing in third-party support, such as an integrated security provider, is recommended to ensure compliance.

The importance of third-party security providers

Sadly, many industry leaders overlook security as it’s wrongfully perceived as an unnecessary expense or something that can be managed in-house, which can lead to infractions. This approach is detrimental to not only the organisation, but to the broader supply chain, as it leads to avoidable disruption caused by non-compliance or improper security processes. Ultimately, the deployment of security professionals saves money, as it reduces the risk of non-compliance. But the benefits go beyond the cost of compliance: an effective, integrated security provider will become an extension of your organisation, not only ensuring security, but providing support to achieve broader objectives.

Meeting access control & CCTV requirements

As part of the new obligations “a holder of the licence must not allow any person to enter the licensed place without making a record of their entry and exit”, which as previously mentioned, becomes extremely complex and time-consuming on busy sites. To effectively ensure compliance, we recommend organisations deploy electronic visitor management systems. These systems not only capture the required information for access (such as name, proof of identity (POI), etc.) but can also be used to issue visitor passes that accurately record arrival and departure times along with the other necessary information. If required, visitor management systems can be configured to include easily identifiable markers (e.g. “ESCORTED”), making it easier to identify non-compliant visitors.

Organisations are also now expected to meet improved standards relating to CCTV. In fact, “the holder of the licence must install and maintain unobstructed closed circuit television (CCTV) that provides continuous coverage of the entire licensed area”. To meet this requirement, third-party security professionals are again recommended, to carry out site visits to inspect the area and ensure CCTV coverage conformance and quality (720p); failure to get this right, can leave depots and warehouses facing harsh penalties.

In addition, it’s important CCTV makes up a part of your security strategy, rather than being the entire security solution. This means your CCTV network can be managed by your security provider and integrate with the wider security operation (e.g. access controls). The best security providers will also be aware of the latest requirements and ensure they’re being met, taking the burden away from you. For example, CCTV footage is now required to be kept for a period of 30 days and provide access to the ABF if/when required

More than just security

As an integrated security provider, Certis Security Australia aims to embed itself into your organisation to help achieve combined success, rather than simply operating as a transactional third-party provider. Certis Security Australia has successfully designed, specified, installed and maintained a range of CCTV networks and access control programs for clients across Australia. Each program is created as a bespoke solution to the individual challenges faced by each client, as one size never fits all.

These programs have been developed to meet specific requirements. Certis Security Australia understands you need a system and approach designed for you and your needs. Security providers give organisations peace of mind their compliance needs are met, so they can remain accountable to internal and external stakeholders.

As supply chains expand and become more complex, so too do the regulations and obligations organisations are held to. It’s a losing battle for organisations to try achieve total compliance without external support. We recommend engaging an integrated security provider that goes beyond the traditional scope of security and utilises innovative technology solutions to deliver real value to your operations. By partnering with market leaders, you are able to design the solutions that work best for you and your customers for many years to come. 

Click here to review the full edition of Across Borders

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