The International Air Cargo Association has asked the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to certify that its 100 percent cargo screening level on passenger aircraft has been achieved and to use its authority to immediately remove the ongoing requirement to report cargo screening data. The requirement is included in the standard security programs covering various participants in the air cargo supply chain.
In a letter to TSA Administrator, John Pistole, TIACA’s Chairman, Oliver Evans, commends TSA on attaining its 100 percent mandatory screening target, a requirement of the ‘Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Act of 2007’ both within and into the United States. He also recognizes the collaborative approach taken by the TSA through the inclusion of air carriers, freight forwarders and shippers in the United States, and through the National Cargo Security Program (NCSP) process and risk-based screening protocols for airlines transporting cargo inbound to the U.S.
However, Evans points out that although the 100 percent level was achieved more than nine months ago, the requirement to report monthly air cargo screening statistics remains in place. He further notes that this is of great concern because “the requirement places a significant labor and data collection burden” on the air cargo industry, as companies must expend both human and IT resources to meet the requirement.
TIACA’s Chairman has asked Pistole to use his powers under the 2013 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act to certify that TSA has achieved screening of 100 percent of air cargo and to then lift the reporting requirement.
Eliminating this burden for all shippers, carriers and air forwarders can be accomplished through a relatively quick and straightforward process, Evans added, and would allow industry and government alike “to better focus our limited resources on measures that materially benefit security.” He assured Pistole that TIACA will continue to work closely with the TSA to make global air cargo security measures effective and efficient, while ensuring the flow of air commerce.