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TSA sets December deadline for 100-percent cargo screening

By Hpanchal on May 18, 2012

Two months after the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed that they’re moving forward with their joint Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot program, the TSA announced that it set a December 3 deadline for screening all cargo on U.S.-bound passenger flights. The 100-percent screening mandate was originally slated to go into effect on Dec. 31, 2011, but was pushed back due to industry feedback.

According to a press release issued by the TSA, the revised deadline “builds additional risk-based, intelligence-driven procedures into the prescreening process to determine screening protocols on a per-shipment basis.” Specifically, shipments deemed “high-risk” will undergo enhanced screening, while those considered “low-risk” will sustain other physical screening measures.

Such screening regulations fulfill a requirement of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act, according to the press release. The TSA also revealed that it has enlisted the help of other governments, organizations and industry partners to ensure that trade isn’t inhibited in the quest to improve airfreight security.

TSA Administrator John Pistole spoke out about this pursuit, commenting that industry collaboration is key to success. “Harmonizing security efforts with our international and industry partners is a vital step in securing the global supply chain,” he said in a statement. “By making greater use of intelligence, TSA can strengthen screening processes and ensure the screening of all cargo shipments without impeding the flow of commerce.”

A risk-based approach to security is also an integral aspect of the TSA’s recently announced Global Supply-Chain Security initiative, according to the press release. Moving forward, however, the U.S.-based organization promises to continue working with other governments, organizations and global partners to improve airfreight security by “putting more risk-based and intelligence-driven procedures into the screening process.”

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