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TSA finalizes airfreight screening ruling

By control on August 22, 2011

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has executed its interim final rule (IFR) on airfreight security and enabled entities other than airlines to screen cargo transported on passenger planes.

Final Rule for the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, which was introduced in September 2009, created the basis for the TSA’s certified cargo screening program (CSSP). As a way to expedite the screening mandates outlined in the 9/11 Act, the CSSP allows entities that have met rigorous standards to inspect freight. Prior to this, only airlines were authorized to screen belly-hold cargo.

Now the TSA is taking this concept one step further and allowing airfreight entities to apply to become certified cargo screening facilities (CCSFs). As designated CCSFs, cargo companies must adhere to stringent chain-of-custody requirements and “implement a multi-layered security program that includes appointing security coordinators, strict access controls and vetting of key personnel, TSA officials said.

It’s an approach the TSA’s Jim Fotenos endorses wholeheartedly. Speaking exclusively to Air Cargo World, Fotenos explained that his organization hopes to parlay its success with the CSSP into other ventures. Like always, however, the TSA will solicit feedback from its international partners to work toward its goal of screening all international inbound cargo on passenger planes, he stated.

What’s more, Fotenos maintained, the TSA is also looking at the feasibility of achieving 100-percent cargo screening on all U.S.-bound flights by the end of the year.

“We have asked industry for feedback on a potential Dec. 31, 2011 date for screening all international inbound cargo on passenger jets,” he told Air Cargo World. “TSA is carefully reviewing and considering comments from the industry before determining how to move forward.”

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