US forwarders call for concise guidance on 100% screening requirement

US Airforwarders Association has called on the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide detailed guidance on incoming cargo screening requirements to avoid supply chain bottlenecks. New International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules mean that from June 30, member United Nation states will be required to screen 100% of cargo before it is loaded on freighter aircraft, as they are currently required to do with belly freight. Brandon Fried, Airforwarders Association executive director, told Air Cargo News that there are still some questions marks around the exact requirements TSA will put in place to meet this regulations, especially given the variety of cargo that is carried on freighter aircraft.

“The forwarding industry is investing significant resources in meeting these security requirements and will be ready if TSA provides concise procedural guidance in helping our members to meet the objective,” he said. “The challenge has been the relatively short notice given by TSA on their implementation guidelines.” He added: “There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to cargo screening and of course, the devil is in the details, and it is those variables that need to be fully addressed.” Fried said that there had previously been discussions around the possibility of postponing the deadline, but he added that that was no longer realistic.

The association is now holding frequent discussions with the TSA to get answers to questions and identify any challenges that may come up once the requirement gets underway. “Capacity continues to be a concern throughout the airfreight forwarding industry and the last challenge we need at this crucial time are bottlenecks due to regulatory uncertainty as to how to fulfill the requirement,” Fried said. “Our engagement with TSA is ongoing and frequent so we hope to be ready to meet the deadline.

Forwarders should be communicating with their all-cargo carriers and associations to not only understand the changes, but assure they have the most current information required as the deadline nears.”

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