In my October 5, 2009 post entitled “TSA’s New Air Cargo Screening Rules Have A Serious Flaw,” I commented on the Air Cargo Screening Interim Final Rule, which created the certified cargo screening program (CCSP). CCSP authorizes companies other than airlines to be approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA ) to screen cargo before it is delivered to an airline at the airport to be put in the belly of a passenger plane. As of February 3, 2009, U.S. airlines and foreign air carriers must have screened at least 50% of its cargo transported on passenger aircraft. That number goes up to 100% as of August 3, 2010. The problem is that even as August 3, 2010 quickly approaches, the TSA, the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), and other prominent organizations have warned that the air cargo industry needs to do more to be ready.
On February 8-9, 2010, in Miami, Florida, The National Cargo Security Association (www.TNCSA.org) is hosting a Florida Cargo Security Conference. Speakers include managers of TSA’ Air Cargo Division from its national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and TSA managers in Florida, the Director of the Air Forwarders Association, nationally renowned security and legal experts, and an FAA Senior Special Agent who enforces dangerous goods compliance.
Be advised that the air cargo screening rule only applies to (1) air cargo, (2) loaded on board an aircraft in the United States. The Rule also does not apply to all-cargo aircraft (freighters). However,one of the primary differences between now and August 3, 2010 (when the 100 percent deadlines hits full force) is that the stacked and shrink-wrapped shipments known as ULDs — basically numerous smaller packages stacked and wrapped on pallets for shipments — will have to be broken down so that the packages can be screened individually and then restacked.
TIACA has expressed some of its concerns when it recently stated “to avoid widespread delays, greater participation in the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) is needed.” An excellent Powerpoint introduction to the TSA’s CCSP is found at theTIACA website.
Shippers, indirect air carriers, airlines, and other persons involved in the international supply chain should attend the Conference to learn more about the air cargo screening requirements. Consequences of the new 100% screening rule surely will be (1) cargo that is delayed or not shipped at all, and (2) penalties against companies by the TSA for non-compliance.