New TSA directive unpopular with forwarders

BrandonFriedFTA new directive from the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requiring an additional security declaration to be displayed at intermediate points while tendered cargo is in transit, has drawn the ire of forwarders, which were not contacted for discussion of the rule before it was finalized on Jan. 29.

Under the new rule, all U.S.-bound shipments must have a statement attached to the master air waybill that says “(name of entity) has reviewed all available documentation and has determined that none of the cargo being offered in this consignment or consolidation has originated in, transferred from, or transited through any point in Egypt, Somalia, Syria or Yemen.”

The U.S. Airforwarders Association’s executive director, Brandon Fried, met with TSA cargo leadership earlier this month at the Aviation Security Advisory Committee meeting at TSA headquarters to voice the displeasure from AfA members. “I expressed the hardship this requirement has caused our forwarder membership, especially because the directive had not been communicated to indirect air carriers directly by TSA since they, and not the airlines, are expected to provide the certification,” he said.

Fried told AfA members that the TSA understood their position, but since the agency doesn’t regulate foreign forwarders overseas, the directive had been assigned to TSA-regulated airlines, requiring them to collect the certifications at the last point of departure for the U.S. He said the TSA leadership is planning to meet with the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a solution, but in the meantime they should continue to work with their airline partners in fulfilling the requirement to the extent possible.

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